Sterilization vs Disinfection
(Similarities and Differences between Sterilization and Disinfection in Microbiology)
Microbes are present in almost all types of habitats. They are so ubiquitous that the presence of many microbes causes undesirable consequences such as food spoilage and diseases. Thus in many situations, it is mandatory to kill the microbes or inhibit their growth to minimize or completely nullify their destructive activities. Sterilization and Disinfection are the two commonly used methods to kill or inhibit the growth of microbes to avoid their undesirable consequences.
Sterilization is a process by which an article, surface or medium is freed of all living microorganisms either in vegetative or in spore state. The materials that have been subjected to the process is said to be Sterile. Usually, the sterilization process is done by physical agents such as heat, steam or radiation.
Disinfection is the use of chemical agents that destroy pathogenic microorganisms. Disinfection reduces the number of microbes to a minimal level so that it is no longer harmful. Disinfection destroys only vegetative cells, not the spores (endospores and fungal spores)
The present post discusses the Similarities and Differences between Sterilization and Disinfection with a Comparison Table.