Protocol Online logo
Top : Forum Archives: : Microbiology

Bacteria lifespan on my lab note - (Jul/25/2006 )


Normally, how long can a bacteria survive outside the host, without nutrition supply?

Actually my lab note was smeared with stain after i did my lab work on bacteria.( i suspect there might be bacteria on it, but i am not sure)

Shall i discard my lab note to the biohazard waste bin? There are a lot of important notes on it sad.gif

Thanks a lot smile.gif


this is a good question.
some transformed E coli are selled lyophilized. Some bacteria are quite resistant, some intracellular bacteria can't survive outside a cell.


It depends on the kind of bacteria that you suppose did contamiate your notebook. Survival varies wildly between species and even strains.
But it also depends on your notebook. In my lab we have the kind made in achemically, water resistant paper that could probably autoclaved if necessary. The only problem being that it is almost impossible to write on them (paper is too smooth for ballpen, and markers tend to mark a few paes at a time dry.gif ). But a long exposition to UV of the probably contaminated pages could probably remove most of the bacteria without damaging the paper and ink.


well if you suspect some vacterias on your labnotes, put them on the 80° heater for 30' should be fine.


That will really depend on what bacteria. Some bacteria have a very efficient genome that transcribe genes to cope up with stressful conditions. And they do it fast enough.


if you're worried, this is what I would do...

IF IT'S DANGEROUS OR POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS: with gloves, in the hood, remove the pages and transfer them one at a time to plastic sheet covers. seal the sheet covers with tape. wipe the outside of the covers with a disinfectant. keep them like they are, just tucked into a 3-ring binder, or photocopy them through the plastic

if it's not dangerous, like maybe some weenie JM109 or something without any plasmids added, just dry it well, maybe bake it in the oven if you want like Fred suggested, but don't stress over it...might not smell good but it won't hurt anyone