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Modified AOAC three step method (officialmethod 2008.05): consolidation of fractions B and C.

  • Rastogi, Vipin K
  • Smith, Lisa S
  • Wallace, Lalena
  • Tomasino, Stephen F
Published Article
Journal of AOAC International
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
PMID: 24282930


The AOAC Quantitative Three Step Method (TSM; AOAC Official Method SM 2008.05) is validated for testing the efficacy of liquid sporicides against spores of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus anthracis on selected hard, nonporous, and porous surfaces. The TSM uses 5x5x1 mm inoculated coupons (carriers), which are placed in 400 microL liquid sporicidal agent contained in a microcentrifuge tube. Following exposure of inoculated carriers to the test chemical and subsequent neutralization, viable spores are recovered in three fractions: A (gentle tapping), B (sonication), and C (gentle agitation). The spores in suspension are serially diluted and plated on a recovery medium for enumeration. The plate counts are summed over the three fractions to provide the number of viable spores per carrier, which is log10-transformed to generate a mean log density (LD) value across carriers. As a measure of product efficacy, a log reduction (LR) value is calculated by subtracting the mean LD for treated carriers from the mean LD for control carriers. This paper reports on the comparative evaluation of the current and modified versions of the TSM in order to support a modification to simplify the procedure. The proposed modified TSM (mTSM) consolidates fractions B and C in the same tube. Thus, the sonication (fraction B) and gentle agitation (fraction C) steps are carried out in the same tube, thereby reducing the number of tubes and associated resources and time necessary to complete the test. Glass, steel, pine wood, and ceramic tile carriers were included in the comparative study. Inoculated carriers were evaluated against two preparations of sodium hypochlorite to generate two presumed levels of efficacy (intermediate and high); the control LD and LR values associated with testing each carrier type for the TSM and the mTSM were compared. For control carriers, the mean log densities per carrier (for each carrier material) were not significantly different based on the TSM compared to the mTSM. Furthermore, the treated carrier data showed comparable LR values for the TSM and mTSM. The data provided in this report demonstrate equivalency between the TSM and mTSM and support the proposed procedural modification to consolidate fractions B and C.

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