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Bacterial exchange in household washing machines

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Abstract
Household washing machines (WMs) launder soiled clothes and textiles, but do not sterilize them. We investigated the microbial exchange occurring in five household WMs. Samples from a new cotton T-shirt were laundered together with a normal laundry load. Analyses were performed on the influent water and the ingoing cotton samples, as well as the greywater and the washed cotton samples. The number of living bacteria was generally not lower in the WM effluent water as compared to the influent water. The laundering process caused a microbial exchange of influent water bacteria, skin-, and clothes related bacteria and biofilm-related bacteria in the WM. A variety of biofilm-producing bacteria were enriched in the effluent after laundering, although their presence in the cotton sample was low. Nearly all bacterial genera detected on the initial cotton sample were still present in the washed cotton samples. A selection for typical skin- and clothes related microbial species occurred in the cotton samples after laundering. Accordingly, malodour-causing microbial species might be further distributed to other clothes. The bacteria on the ingoing textiles contributed for a large part to the microbiome found in the textiles after laundering.
Keywords
fabrics, skin, microbiome, domestic, washing machine, GRADIENT GEL-ELECTROPHORESIS, 16S RIBOSOMAL-RNA, WATER DISTRIBUTION-SYSTEM, HUMAN SKIN, PYROSEQUENCING ANALYSIS, BIOFILM COMMUNITIES, MICROBIAL ECOLOGY, MICROORGANISMS, STAPHYLOCOCCUS, DISINFECTION

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Citation

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Chicago
Callewaert, Chris, Sam Van Nevel, Frederiek-Maarten Kerckhof, Michael S Granitsiotis, and Nico Boon. 2015. “Bacterial Exchange in Household Washing Machines.” Frontiers in Microbiology 6.
APA
Callewaert, C., Van Nevel, S., Kerckhof, F.-M., Granitsiotis, M. S., & Boon, N. (2015). Bacterial exchange in household washing machines. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 6.
Vancouver
1.
Callewaert C, Van Nevel S, Kerckhof F-M, Granitsiotis MS, Boon N. Bacterial exchange in household washing machines. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY. 2015;6.
MLA
Callewaert, Chris, Sam Van Nevel, Frederiek-Maarten Kerckhof, et al. “Bacterial Exchange in Household Washing Machines.” FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY 6 (2015): n. pag. Print.
@article{7039704,
  abstract     = {Household washing machines (WMs) launder soiled clothes and textiles, but do not sterilize them. We investigated the microbial exchange occurring in five household WMs. Samples from a new cotton T-shirt were laundered together with a normal laundry load. Analyses were performed on the influent water and the ingoing cotton samples, as well as the greywater and the washed cotton samples. The number of living bacteria was generally not lower in the WM effluent water as compared to the influent water. The laundering process caused a microbial exchange of influent water bacteria, skin-, and clothes related bacteria and biofilm-related bacteria in the WM. A variety of biofilm-producing bacteria were enriched in the effluent after laundering, although their presence in the cotton sample was low. Nearly all bacterial genera detected on the initial cotton sample were still present in the washed cotton samples. A selection for typical skin- and clothes related microbial species occurred in the cotton samples after laundering. Accordingly, malodour-causing microbial species might be further distributed to other clothes. The bacteria on the ingoing textiles contributed for a large part to the microbiome found in the textiles after laundering.},
  articleno    = {1381},
  author       = {Callewaert, Chris and Van Nevel, Sam and Kerckhof, Frederiek-Maarten and Granitsiotis, Michael S and Boon, Nico},
  issn         = {1664-302X},
  journal      = {FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {fabrics,skin,microbiome,domestic,washing machine,GRADIENT GEL-ELECTROPHORESIS,16S RIBOSOMAL-RNA,WATER DISTRIBUTION-SYSTEM,HUMAN SKIN,PYROSEQUENCING ANALYSIS,BIOFILM COMMUNITIES,MICROBIAL ECOLOGY,MICROORGANISMS,STAPHYLOCOCCUS,DISINFECTION},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {11},
  title        = {Bacterial exchange in household washing machines},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.01381},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2015},
}

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