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Directed killing of anthrax spores by microwave-induced cavitation

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10 Author(s)
J. L. Kiel ; Air Force Res. Lab., Brooks, TX, USA ; R. E. Sutter ; P. A. Mason ; J. E. Parker
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High-power pulsed-microwave radiation damages anthrax spores by apparent sonoluminescence in aqueous solutions containing the organic semiconductor diazoluminomelanin (DALM). DALM biosynthesized by JM109 E. coli, containing the plasmid pIC2ORNR1.1, had a higher affinity for spores of Sterne strain anthrax when compared to several other species of bacilli and enhanced the effect. Upon exposure to pulsed-microwave radiation, anthrax spores showed a maximum of 4 to 5 (i.e., 4.6) logs of kill. The light emitted was typical of plasma gas emissions and the spores, upon scanning electron-microscopic examination, showed enlargement and rupture typical of rapid expansion. Therefore, microwave-induced cavitations localized to the spore surfaces enhanced kill.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )