Evidence for grow-through penetration of 0.2-μm-pore-size filters by Serratia marcescens and Brevundimonas diminuta
Filters rated as having a 0.2-microm pore size (0.2-microm-rated filters) are used in laboratory and manufacturing settings for diverse applications of bacterial and particle removal from process fluids, analytical test articles, and gasses. Using Hydrogenophaga pseudoflava, a diminutive bacterium with an unusual geometry (i.e., it is very thin), we evaluated passage through 0.2-microm-rated filters and the impact of filtration process parameters and bacterial challenge density. We show that consistent H. pseudoflava passage occurs through 0.2-microm-rated filters. This is in contrast to an absence of significant passage of nutritionally challenged bacteria that are of similar size (i.e., hydrodynamic diameter) but dissimilar geometry.