Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


By the term injured cells we mean microbial cells which have undergone structural or functional alteration caused by agents of various types. The problem of injured cells refers to their being quiescent microorganisms; meaning that if they are placed in particularly favourable conditions (ie non selective cultures preferably liquid) they can recover from the damage and re-start their normal multiplication. Actually, these cells are not able to revivify in the selective cultures normally used in routine analysis. This could imply an underevaluation of the microbial load present in the hydrological habitat.
There are many agents which can be responsible for the formation of injured cells and they are extremely diverse.
Among them:
disinfectants used in water purification (eg chlorine, which is responsible for the formation of high percentages of injured cells);
other antimicrobial agents which induce phenomena of cellular damage (eg ozone, chloramines, chlorine dioxide and ultraviolet rays).
Stressful agents for germs also include metals such as copper and we should also remember factors such as ethylenediaminetetracetic acid (EDTA), any residual acidity in the water, and the biological interractions between microorganisms. All of these agents can lead to the effects of cellular damage or of physiological alterations.

Additional information

Authors: PASTONI F, Consiglio dell'Ordine Nazionale dei Biologi, Roma (IT);MARENGO G, JRC Ispra (IT);ZAMPOLLO F, JRC Ispra (IT);MARENGO S, JRC Ispra (IT);TARANTINO E, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Capo Rizzuto (IT) September, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper IT 39391 ORA
Record Number: 199512160 / Last updated on: 1996-02-02
Original language: it
Available languages: it
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top