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UV Light Inactivation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in Milk as Assessed by FASTPlaqueTB Phage Assay and Culture


UV light has been used for the disinfection of drinking water and wastewater systems to inactivate potential waterborne pathogens for many years (2). UV light at wavelengths shorter than 280 nm (termed UV-C) has a germicidal effect on most types of microorganisms by formation of thymine dimers in DNA and RNA that inhibit transcription and replication of nucleic acids, thereby rendering the microorganism unable to reproduce (12, 17). UV technology is an emerging nonthermal process for food preservation (12), although there has been limited research to date on the use of UV for the inactivation of bacteria and viruses in liquid foods, such as fruit juices and milk. UV treatment has been shown to result in significant reductions in numbers of Escherichia coli, E. coli O157:H7, and Cryptosporidium parvum bacteria in apple cider (14, 20, 27). In relation to UV treatment of milk, Matak et al. (18) reported a 5-log10 reduction in Listeria monocytogenes numbers in goat’s milk by exposure to a cumulative UV dose of 15.8 1.6 mJ/cm2, and Reinemann et al. (21) reported that UV treatment of 15 kJ/liter achieved a 3-log10 reduction in total numbers of bacteria present in raw cows milk, with coliforms showing the greatest reduction in numbers and spore formers showing only a modest reduction.


APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, June 2007, p. 3728–3733 Vol. 73, No. 11