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What is a Biological Indicator?

Biological indicators are used to validate sterilization processes in different industries. They are indicators that determine the lethality of sterile processing indicating, that is, they indicate whether a material subjected to a sterilization process is completely free of living microorganisms. In general, a biological indicator is composed of a preparation of spores of bacteria highly resistant to the sterilization method used.

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    What is a Biological Indicator?

    Biological indicators are used to validate sterilization processes in different industries.

    They are indicators that determine the lethality of sterile processing indicating, that is, they indicate whether a material subjected to a sterilization process is completely free of living microorganisms.

    In general, a biological indicator is composed of a population of spores of bacteria highly resistant to the sterilization method used. 

    How does a Biological Indicaror work?​​

    When the sterilization process is finished, the biological indicator is used to determine if there are still viable spores in it. If there are surviving spores, the sterilization process is ruled out. If no surviving spores are detected, the sterilization process is validated. To analyze whether spores survived after sterilization, the biological indicators are incubated. After the incubation time, the biological indicators are observed. If the liquid changes color or turbidity is observed, spore growth is confirmed and the sterilization process is discarded, if there are no changes in the appearance of the liquid, the sterilization process is validated.

    How does a Biological Indicaror work?​​

    When the sterilization process is finished, the biological indicator is used to determine if there are still viable spores in it. If there are surviving spores, the sterilization process is ruled out. If no surviving spores are detected, the sterilization process is validated.

    To analyze whether spores survived after sterilization, the biological indicators are incubated. Incubation results are analyzed according to the type of indicator used.

    In the case of fluorescence indicators, the detection of fluorescence signal is the evidence of survival of the microorganism to the sterilization process. In the case of conventional indicators, if the culture medium in the indicator changes color or turbidity is observed, spore growth is confirmed and the sterilization process is considered unsuccessful, on the other hand, if there is no fluorescence signal or changes in the appearance of the culture medium is validated by the sterilization process.

    Types of biological indicators

    Due to the high quality standards in the pharmaceutical, food and health industries, there must be a strict control for the sterilization processes that have been carried out properly and it can be assured that the material to be sterilized is really sterile after having it. exposed to some sterilization process. There are many methods to sterilize and for each method there is a specific biological indicator to validate the process.
    STEAM
    VH2O2
    DRY
    EO
    FORM

    Spore strips

    Inoculated strip carrier with a population of spores recommended for validation and monitoring of sterilization processes

    Ampoules

    Glass ampoule containing the recommended spore population dispersed in a culture

    Self-Conteined
    Biological Indicators

    Medium specially designed to monitor liquid sterilization processes

    Spore strips

    Biological indicator contains in the same presentation (plastic tube) the recommended spore population and the culture medium needed to reveal its result.

    Types of biological indicators

    Due to the high quality standards in the pharmaceutical, food and health industries, there must be a strict control for the sterilization processes that have been carried out properly and it can be assured that the material to be sterilized is really sterile after having it. exposed to some sterilization process. There are many methods to sterilize and for each method there is a specific biological indicator to validate the process.
    STEAM
    VH2O2
    EO
    DRY
    FORM

    Spore Strips

    Inoculated strip carrier with a population of spores recommended for validation and monitoring of sterilization processes

    Ampoules

    Glass ampoule containing the recommended spore population dispersed in a culture

    Self-Contained
    Biological Indicators

    Medium specially designed to monitor liquid sterilization processes

    Tira de esporas

    Biological indicator contains in the same presentation (plastic tube) the recommended spore population and the culture medium needed to reveal its result.

    Holes for sterilization
    agent penetration
    Plastic cap
    Identification label
    Type 1 Chemical indicator
    Glass ampoule and
    growth medium
    Spore carrier
    Holes for sterilization
    agent penetration
    Plastic cap
    Identification label
    Type 1 chemical
    indicator
    Glass ampoule and
    growth medium
    Spore carrier

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