J Vet Sci.  2021 Jan;22(1):e11. 10.4142/jvs.2021.22.e11.

Effectiveness of calcium hypochlorite, quaternary ammonium compounds, and sodium hypochlorite in eliminating vegetative cells and spores of Bacillus anthracis surrogate

  • 1KU Center for One Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
  • 2Department of Food Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea


The spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax, an often-fatal infection in animals. Therefore, a rapid and reliable strategy to decontaminate areas, humans, and livestock from B. anthracis is very critical.
The aim of this study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, and quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) sanitizers, which are commonly used in the food industry, to inhibit spores and vegetative cells of B.anthracis surrogate.
We evaluated the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, and a QAC in inhibiting vegetative cells and spores of a B. anthracis surrogate. We treated a 0.1-mL vegetative cell culture or spore solution with 10 mL sanitizer. The samples were serially diluted and cultured.
We found that 50 ppm sodium hypochlorite (pH 7), 1 ppm calcium hypochlorite, and 1 ppm QAC completely eliminated the cells in vegetative state. Exposure to 3,000 ppm sodium hypochlorite (pH 7) and 300 ppm calcium hypochlorite significantly eliminated the bacterial spores; however, 50,000 ppm QAC could not eliminate all spores.
Calcium hypochlorite and QAC showed better performance than sodium hypochlorite in completely eliminating vegetative cells of B. anthracis surrogate. QAC was ineffective against spores of the B. anthracis surrogate. Among the three commercial disinfectants tested, calcium hypochlorite most effectively eliminated both B. anthracis vegetative cells and spores.


Bacillus anthracis surrogate; disinfectants; sodium hypochlorite; quaternary ammonium compounds; spores
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