Samples of macerated mouse-brain infected with the 22A strain of scrapie agent were subjected to gravity-displacement autoclaving at 121°C for 30 minutes in the presence of 2 M sodium hydroxide. No infectivity was detectable by mouse bioassay in samples which were either held for an hour at room temperature before autoclaving, or autoclaved immediately after adding the hydroxide. In contrast, all of the mice injected with a control sample, held for an hour in distilled water before autoclaving, developed scrapie. If adopted as a routine decontamination procedure it is recommended that hydroxide-treated waste should be autoclaved in sealed heat-resistant containers which can withstand the pressures involved. This would make the procedure safer for the operator, and avoid autoclave damage through exposure to sodium hydroxide.
Veterinary Microbiology – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 1997
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