|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 80-82
Transmission of hazardous diseases via nanobacterial contamination of medical and dental equipment
Jafar Kolahi1, Yadolah Soleymani Shayesteh2, Gholamreza Shirani3
1 Independent Research Scientist, Founder and Managing Editor of Dental Hypotheses, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Periodontics and Implant, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
|Date of Web Publication||8-Aug-2013|
No 24, Faree 15, Pardis, Shahin Shahr, Isfahan, Postal code 83179-18981
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Nanobacteria (calcifying nanoparticles, nanobes) are one of the most controversial issues in contemporary biology. Studies show accumulating evidence on association of nanobacteria with pathologic calcifications such as kidney stone, arterial plaque, calcification of coronary arteries, and cardiac valves calculus. The Hypothesis: Nanobacteria can tolerate harsh conditions extremely well. The apatite mineral layer around the organism and slow metabolism is likely to be the reason for the resistance of nanobacteria. They showed a wide resistance to the several disinfecting and sterilizating chemicals as well as autoclaving, ultraviolet light, microwaves, heating and drying treatments. Hence, it seems logic to postulate that hazardous diseases can be easily transmitted via nanobacterial contamination of medical and dental equipment. Evaluation of the Hypothesis: It is not enough to claim an agent not living according to the standard view on living creatures, as irrelevant to biological safety of cell cultures, or to human and animal health. Although the nature of prions is still under debate and prions are classified as nonliving, they exist and cause diseases, and thus form a serious risk for animal and human health. The risk was recognized only after enormous economical losses. It appears that nanobacteria situation is rather similar, except the fact that nanobacteria appear to cause or contribute to common hazardous diseases of the mankind. Hence, world-widely well-known organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the World Health Organization should pay more attention to transmission of hazardous diseases via nanobacterial contamination of medical and dental equipment.
Keywords: Disease transmission, disinfection, infection control, nanobacteria, sterilization
|How to cite this article:|
Kolahi J, Shayesteh YS, Shirani G. Transmission of hazardous diseases via nanobacterial contamination of medical and dental equipment. Dent Hypotheses 2013;4:80-2
|How to cite this URL:|
Kolahi J, Shayesteh YS, Shirani G. Transmission of hazardous diseases via nanobacterial contamination of medical and dental equipment. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Jan 24];4:80-2. Available from: http://www.dentalhypotheses.com/text.asp?2013/4/3/80/116330
| Introduction|| |
Nanobacteria (calcifying nanoparticles, nanobes, nanobacterium) are mysterious particles that have spurred one of the biggest controversies in modern microbiology. Nanobacteria were discovered as cell culture contaminants more than 25 years ago. They are not members of Eubacteria or Archaea, but form an entity of their own that may be of primordial origin [Figure 1]. , Nanobacteria have been reported to be founded in animal and human blood, in bile, in tissue culture, in waste water, in Australian sandstones, in the stratosphere and in our galaxy and external galaxies.  Of more interest nanobacterial diseases can be transmitted via clouds, asteroids, space travels, and/or interstellar dusts. , Nevertheless, studies show accumulating evidence on association of nanobacteria with human diseases, for example, kidney stones, arterial plaque, calcification of coronary arteries and cardiac valves, polycystic kidney disease, formation of psammoma bodies in ovarian malignant tumors, HIV infection, type III chronic prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, cholecystolithiasis, randall's plaques, renal tubular calcification, black pigment gallstones, pathological placental calcification, randall's plaques, mitral annular calcification, interstitial cystitis painful bladder syndrome and testicular microlithiasis.  In dental practice nanobacteria associated with formation of calculus, pulp stone and salivary gland stone.  Nevertheless there has not been a comprehensive study to credibly determine whether nanobacteria is one of the smallest self-replicating form of life on Earth, or whether they represent mineralo-protein complexes so called calcifying nanoparticles without any relation to bacteria. Proponents of both theories have a number of arguments, often mutually exclusive, in favor of the validity of their own hypotheses. 
| The Hypothesis|| |
Nanobacteria can tolerate harsh conditions extremely well. The apatite mineral layer around the organism serves as a primary defense shield against various critical life-threatening conditions. A double defense with the apatite layer and an impermeable membrane combined with a very slow metabolism (doubling time is 3 days, their metabolism is 10,000 times slower than Escherichia More Details coli) is likely to be the reason for the resistance of nanobacteria. 
Nanobacteria cultured without serum showed a wide resistance to the common disinfectants, for example, 70% ethanol, 2% glutaraldehyde, 4% formaldehyde, 0.5% hypochlorite, 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1M hydrochloric acid (HCI), 1M sodium hydroxide (NaOH), 1% sodium dodecyl su1fate, 1% Tween 80, 1% Triton X-l00, 3M guanidium-hydroch1oride, 3M urea. Only 1% Virkon ® (100% product contains 50% potassium persulfate, 5% sulfaminoic acid) (Antec International Ltd., Suffolk, England), was effective in killing nanobacteria cultured without serum after 30 minutes. Hydrochloric acid treatment dissolved the apatite layer of nanobacteria, but remineralization was observed after addition of culture medium. 
Autoclaving, ultraviolet, and drying treatments
Drying at a temperature of 100°C killed serum nanobacteria, but drying at room temperature did not. Autoclaving was not detrimental to the nanobacteria cultured without serum, but a marked reduction in the survival of serum nanobacteria was observed. Nanobacteria cultured without serum tolerated ultraviolet (UV) light with no effect on growth, but serum nanobacteria were significantly inactivated. Nanobacteria samples dried during the overnight UV treatment, and thus there became an additional stress for the organisms. Drying obviously had little or no effect on the survival of nanobacteria. Microwave treatment was more like a heat shock treatment than a sterilization step. 
Heat resistance of nanobacteria
Nanobacteria were very heat-resistant. Fifteen minutes boiling was not enough for killing serum nanobacteria, but 30 minutes inactivated them. Microscopically, observations of the nanobacteria cultured without serum after heat treatment revealed that they had survived all the tested conditions including boiling at 100°C for 30 min. Initially, reduction in the amount of viable nanobacteria cultured without serum was observed with the higher temperatures, but after 2 weeks here was no difference in the test culture results as compared to the nonheated control. 
In conclusion, it seems logic to postulate that hazardous diseases, for example, cardiovascular and kidney pathologic calcifications can be easily transmitted via nanobacterial contamination of medical and dental equipment.
| Evaluation of the Hypothesis|| |
Aliveness of nanobacteria is one of the biggest controversies in contemporary microbiology.
It is a challenge to collect all the existing information about the nature and basic properties of nanobacteria and to analyze it to compare the power of the arguments from both sides. Moreover, it seems to be useful to consider the role of nanobacteria in etiopathogenesis of various diseases, since several articles devoted to this problem have been published.  It can be crucially significant for medicine and dentistry since nanobacteria can be absolutely new causative agents of many diseases and may determine their course, affecting rapidity, severity, therapeutic resistance and sensitiveness, and prognosis of mentioned disorders.  Nevertheless, it is not enough to claim an agent not living according to the standard view on living creatures, as irrelevant to biological safety of cell cultures, or to human and animal health. Although the nature of prions is still under debate and prions are classified as nonliving, they exist and cause diseases, and thus form a serious risk for animal and human health. The risk was recognized only after enormous economical losses. It appears that nanobacteria situation is rather similar, except the fact that nanobacteria appear to cause or contribute to common hazardous diseases of the mankind. , Hence, world-widely well-known organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) should pay more attention to transmission of hazardous diseases via nanobacterial contamination of medical and dental equipment.
How to eliminate the nanobacteria?
Doses of three megarads gamma irradiation are needed to ensure destruction of nanobacteria. Gamma irradiation is probably the best and most reliable method for killing nanobacteria. Drying at elevated temperatures or boiling for extended periods can also be used in eradicating nanobacteria. Boiling for 30 min is effective against almost all living organisms, except some endospores, especially the spores of Bacillus stearothennophilus and hyperthermophilicarchae having 90°C or more as optimum temperature for growth. This treatment is also not enough to kill nanobacteria cultured without serum. Importantly, the normal autoclaving procedure (121°C for 20 min) was also inefficient in eradicating nanobacteria. Tests with higher temperatures and longer times should, thus, be conducted to determine an optimal procedure for the sterilization of nanobacteria contaminated equipment.  Furthermore, at this time there are two patents claiming to eradicate  and deactivate  nanobacteria.
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