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Microbial physiology in relation to the availability of water

10 January 2011

PhD ceremony: Mr. M.C. de Goffau, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Title: Microbial physiology in relation to the availability of water

Promotor(s): prof. J.M. van Dijl, prof. J.E. Degener

Faculty: Medical Sciences


The availability of water is the most important for microbial growth on surfaces. This thesis shows that the relative humidity is higher on cold surfaces as compared to warm ones, indicating that more microbial growth can be expected to occur on cold surfaces. Furthermore, the availability of water determined which bacteria are able to grow in specific places, but also how they grow. Experiments with varying levels of humidity showed that bacteria can adapt their physiological characteristics to the environment. Such adaptations can affect for example microbial resistance to antibiotics. The findings of this study are clinically relevant to optimize the hygienic conditions in neonatal incubators.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.41 p.m.

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