Investigating the antibacterial properties of a mouthwash

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA-, January 1997

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Good Essay esp. for an investigation Good Intro to investigation

Investigating the antibacterial properties of a mouthwash


The mouthwash under test id Asda Protect. It contains:-

· aqua

· alcohol

· glycerin

· polysorbate 20

· sodium benzoate

· aroma

· sodium saccharin

· cetylpyridinium chloride

· menthol

· sodium flouride (0.05%)

In this investigation we aim to test the antibacterial properties of this mouthwash treating

it like a disinfectant against three common bacteria which can be safely used in the

laboratory: Escherichia coli, Baccilus Megatherium, and Staphlococcus Albus.

Disinfection is a procedure which destroys, inactivates or removes potentially harmful

microbes- without necessarily affecting other organisms present; it has generally little or

no effect on bacterial endospores. Disinfection often refers specifically to the use of other

chemical agents (disinfectants) for the treatment of non-living objects or surfaces.

Ideally disinfectants for general use should be able to kill a wide range of common or

potential pathogens.

However, any given disinfectant is usually more effective against

some organisms than against others, and the activity of a disinfectant may be greatly

affected by factore such as dilution, temperature, pH, or the presence or organic matter or

detergent; to be effective at all, a disinfectant needs appropriate conditions, at a suitable

concentration, for an adequate period of time. Some disinfectants tend to be unstable, and

some need solubilization in order to be effective. At low concentrations some disinfectants

not only cease to be effective, they can actually be metabolized by certain bacteria

Dinfectants which kill bacteria are said to be bactericidal. Others merely halt the growth

of bacteria, and if such a disinfectant is inactivated - e.g. by dilution, or chemical

neutralisation - the bacteria may be able to resume growth; these disinfectants are said to

be bacteriostatic. A bactericidal disinfectant may become...