Sterilization (microbiology) facts for kids
Sterilization refers to any process that removes, kills, or deactivates all forms of life (in particular referring to microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spores, unicellular eukaryotic organisms such as Plasmodium, etc.) and other biological agents like prions present in a specific surface, object or fluid, for example food or biological culture media.
After sterilization, an object is referred to as being sterile or aseptic.
The first application of sterilization was thorough cooking to effect the partial heat sterilization of foods and water.
Canning of foods by heat sterilization was an extension of the same principle. Ingestion of contaminated food and water remains a leading cause of illness and death in the developing world, particularly for children.
Medicine and surgery
Heat sterilization of medical instruments is known to have been used in Ancient Rome, but it mostly disappeared throughout the Middle Ages resulting in significant increases in disability and death following surgical procedures.
Preparation of injectable medications and intravenous solutions for fluid replacement therapy requires not only a high sterility assurance level, but well-designed containers to prevent entry of adventitious agents after initial sterilization.
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Sterilization (microbiology) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.