Disinfection consists of sanitation and sterilization, it destroys or makes pathogenic microorganisms and their spores harmless (mainly viruses, bacteria, fungi, protists and molds) depending on the environment and the particular working conditions. These pathogenic agents can easily enter human and animal body and cause infectious diseases.
Aim of disinfection is the interruption of the development of “viable colony count”, that is to say pollution of rooms and of the confined atmosphere by harmful or parasitic elements: viruses, molds, schizomycetes, etc.

Here are some of the main pathogenic agents.

  Viruses are defined as obligate endoparasites because in order to live they must be with a host.
Viruses are the main endoparasites of many infections, such as flu, hepatitis, AIDS, cold, which are human diseases. There are also viruses that can infect plants, like the tobacco mosaic virus, discovered in 1982. Other kinds of viruses can invade bacteria and are called BACTERIOPHAGES.
Viruses replicate and inject their genome into the host cell. The viral genome is then synthesized in a number of copies and once copies are originated the capsid is synthesized, which wraps the newly synthesized filament.


Bacteria are microorganisms, very small living beings (thousandths of a millimetre). Even though they are not visible to the eye, bacteria are everywhere, within our body and in the surrounding environment. Some of them live in the most inhospitable environments, like ocean floors or glaciers.
Bacteria are often associated with dirt or disease, but actually many of them are helpful to man, such as those used for yogurt production or symbiotic intestinal bacteria.


Fungi and protists

Protists and fungi are composed by eukaryotic cells, similar to the guest’s cells. They are mainly decomposing organisms; various protists are producers (algae), some are parasites. Among pathogenic protists we would like to mention Plasmodium which causes malaria, one of the world’s main causes of death.
Diseases caused by protists are especially common in tropical and subtropical countries, but Trichomonas vaginalis, which causes a genital infection, is spread all over the world. Also fungal or mycosis infections are rather common, such as the “athlete’s foot,” easily transmitted in swimming-pools or in gyms.


  Molds are microscopic fungi that during their growth produce small spherical particles, similar to pollen (spores) spreading in the air mainly in summer and in autumn. They can grow both indoors and outdoors.
Indoors molds can be found mainly on badly preserved food, on wool garments, in mattresses and couches, on humid walls and floors, wallpaper, on soil and on plant leaves, in air conditioning systems, humidifiers, fridges, especially on door gaskets. 
Outdoors they can be found on soil and on decomposing organic matter (fruit, wood, cereals, leaves, etc.). Big quantities of molds can deposit in particular working environments like dairy factories, pork processing plants, paper factory, stalls, silos, warehouses, plant nurseries and greenhouses. In Italy the most allergenic mold is alternaria, followed by Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Epicoccum and Penicillium. Good disinfection, carried out with adequate disinfectant solutions, will kill molds.
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