Antimicrobial Efficacy of Copper Alloys in Changing Environmental Conditions

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/202696
Title:
Antimicrobial Efficacy of Copper Alloys in Changing Environmental Conditions
Author:
Elguindi, Jutta Ehlert
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Copper cast alloys de-activate antibiotic-resistant bacteria on contact and could be very effective in decreasing potentially harmful microorganisms in the environment. In this study copper alloys with varying copper contents were utilized to evaluate their antimicrobial effects on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecium in changing environmental conditions. The survival rates of P. aeruginosa wild type and its derivative transposon mutants of the cin operon on copper cast alloys were investigated in order to demonstrate the influence of genes involved in copper resistance. The gene disruption of the response regulator of the cin operon resulted in shorter survival rates on copper alloys, which was also influenced by temperature and method of exposure. Bacteria often have acquired copper resistance mechanisms in order to withstand higher copper concentrations in their surroundings, which may be a factor in their survival rates on copper surfaces. Copper- and antibiotic-resistant E. coli and E. faecium strains were obtained from pigs raised on feeds containing copper sulfate and antibiotics. Survival rates of these bacteria were influenced by the percentage of copper in the alloys, varying moisture conditions on copper surfaces, suspension media used, and differences between strains. Survival was also dependent on copper corrosion rates since corrosion inhibition with benzotriazole or a thick surface layer of thermal oxide resulted in prolonged survival on copper surfaces. Corrosion of copper surfaces releases copper ions which directly affect bacterial survival on copper alloys. The results obtained in this study emphasize that copper alloys are effective as antimicrobial materials but changing environmental conditions can significantly influence bacterial survival on copper surfaces. These findings can be applied to a better utilization of copper alloys in water, food, and healthcare environments. Antibiotic- and copper ion-resistant bacteria can be killed on contact with copper alloys which makes the proliferation of these microorganisms less likely and reduces the risk to human health. However, in a very different environment copper ion-resistant microbes can be useful for plant-microbe associations in bioremediation of copper mining wastelands.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
copper alloys; copper resistance genes; phytoremediation; Soil, Water & Environmental Science; Antimicrobial; contact killing
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Soil, Water & Environmental Science
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Rensing, Christoper

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleAntimicrobial Efficacy of Copper Alloys in Changing Environmental Conditionsen_US
dc.creatorElguindi, Jutta Ehlerten_US
dc.contributor.authorElguindi, Jutta Ehlerten_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractCopper cast alloys de-activate antibiotic-resistant bacteria on contact and could be very effective in decreasing potentially harmful microorganisms in the environment. In this study copper alloys with varying copper contents were utilized to evaluate their antimicrobial effects on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecium in changing environmental conditions. The survival rates of P. aeruginosa wild type and its derivative transposon mutants of the cin operon on copper cast alloys were investigated in order to demonstrate the influence of genes involved in copper resistance. The gene disruption of the response regulator of the cin operon resulted in shorter survival rates on copper alloys, which was also influenced by temperature and method of exposure. Bacteria often have acquired copper resistance mechanisms in order to withstand higher copper concentrations in their surroundings, which may be a factor in their survival rates on copper surfaces. Copper- and antibiotic-resistant E. coli and E. faecium strains were obtained from pigs raised on feeds containing copper sulfate and antibiotics. Survival rates of these bacteria were influenced by the percentage of copper in the alloys, varying moisture conditions on copper surfaces, suspension media used, and differences between strains. Survival was also dependent on copper corrosion rates since corrosion inhibition with benzotriazole or a thick surface layer of thermal oxide resulted in prolonged survival on copper surfaces. Corrosion of copper surfaces releases copper ions which directly affect bacterial survival on copper alloys. The results obtained in this study emphasize that copper alloys are effective as antimicrobial materials but changing environmental conditions can significantly influence bacterial survival on copper surfaces. These findings can be applied to a better utilization of copper alloys in water, food, and healthcare environments. Antibiotic- and copper ion-resistant bacteria can be killed on contact with copper alloys which makes the proliferation of these microorganisms less likely and reduces the risk to human health. However, in a very different environment copper ion-resistant microbes can be useful for plant-microbe associations in bioremediation of copper mining wastelands.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectcopper alloysen_US
dc.subjectcopper resistance genesen_US
dc.subjectphytoremediationen_US
dc.subjectSoil, Water & Environmental Scienceen_US
dc.subjectAntimicrobialen_US
dc.subjectcontact killingen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSoil, Water & Environmental Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorRensing, Christoperen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPepper, Ian L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGerba, Charles P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRensing, Christoperen_US
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