Injury has long been recognized in bacterial spores, especially in evaluation of apparent survival after administration of treatments to control these resistant entities. Compared to vegetative cells, the complexity of the germination and outgrowth processes has retarded research activity on injury and resuscitation. Heat-injury has been observed and studied to the greatest extent, but irradiation and chemical treatments also damage spores from anaerobic or aerobic bacteria. Injury has been associated with germination or specific steps in outgrowth or both. Damage of enzymes, DNA, RNA, membranes or other systems may be implied by resuscitation studies. Injury has been manifested by increased sensitivity to selective or antimicrobial agents or by increased requirements for germination and growth. The need for extensive fundamental research on bacterial spore injury continues to exist, especially to aid in explaining unique spore resistance.

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Author notes

1Paper No. 11492, Scientific Journal Series, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Paul, MN 55108.