Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

12 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Define sterilization.
The process of destroying all forms of microbial life on an object or in a material. Includes endospores.

It's absolute - there are no degrees of sterilization!
Define disinfection.
The process of destroying vegetative pathogens but not necessarily endospores or viruses. Reduces/inhibits growth, but does not sterilize.

Applied to an object or material, NOT tissue.
Define antisepsis.
Chemical disinfection of the skin, mucous membrane or other living tissue.
Define germicide.
A chemical agent that rapidly kills microbes but not necessarily their endospores.

Heat & some disinfectants are more effective in killing bacteria under acidic conditions than at a neutral pH.
How do microbial agents act on cellular structures?
Altering the permeability of the plasma membrane.

Damaging cellular proteins.

Damaging cellular DNA.

Bacteria die at a constant rate.

(For example, for each minute a treatment is applied, x% of the remaining population is killed. )
What is autoclaving?
An apparatus that uses steam under pressure to sterilize things.
What is glutaraldehyde?
The only liquid chemical disinfectant that can be considered a possible sterilizing agent.
What is beta-propiolactone gas?
A chemical used to sterilize things in a closed chamber (similar to an autoclave). A suspected carcinogen.
What are surface-active agents?
A type of disinfectant that can decrease surface tension among the molecules of a liquid. They emulsify debris and carry them off in lather.
What is an example of non-ionizing radiation, and what does it do?
UV light.

It damages the DNA of exposed cells by causing bonds to form between adjacent thymines in DNA chains. Inhibits correct replication of DNA.