Strain specificity in antimicrobial activity of non-thermal plasma

Abstract

Non-thermal (low-temperature) plasma may act as an alternative approach to control superficial wound and skin infections when the effectiveness of chemical agents is weak due to natural pathogen or biofilm resistance. In this paper an atmospheric pressure plasma needle jet device which generates a cold plasma jet is used to measure the effectiveness of plasma treatment against different pathogenic bacteria and to test the individual susceptibility of pathogenic bacteria to non-thermal argon plasma. It is found that, Gram-negative bacteria were more susceptible to plasma treatment than Gram-positive bacteria. For the Gram-negative bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, there were no survivors among the initial 1x108C.F.U (Colony Forming Unit) after a 40 seconds plasma treatment. The susceptibility of Gram-positive bacteria and the Gram-negative bacteria were species and strain specific. Staphylococcus aureus was the most resistant with 4.5 % survival of the initial 2x106C.F.U. after a 40 seconds plasma treatment. According to species, Staphylococcus aureus had a strain-dependent resistance with 39% and 99% reduction from 2x106C.F.U.of the five studied isolates, respectively, whereas, Escherichia coli had a lower resistance with 76% and 99% reduction after 40 seconds.