This work demonstrates the reaction of ozone on the amino acids comprising the covering layer of resistant micro-organisms. A secondary aim was to check the byproducts generated when ozone was applied to synthetic samples (such as Vibrio cholerae NO 01 WFCC-449, Salmonella typhi ATTC-6539, faecal coliforms and Ascaris suum). The ozone was applied at a concentration of 18.4 mgO3/min at pH 3, for different lengths of time. In the case of bacteria, results showed that, at 8 minutes, the number was reduced to the level of the Official Mexican Standards set for treated water destined for irrigation purposes (1,000 MPN/100 mL). Excellent correlation coefficients (0.95 to 0.99) were obtained for microbial concentrations versus ozone contact time. Destruction times required for 100% removal of the initial bacteria population varied between 2 and 14 minutes, while Ascaris suum required 1 hour. When Gram-negative bacteria die due to the effects of ozone, cellular lysis and the liberation of endotoxins (biodegradable) were observed. The ozonation of amino acids in the shell of Ascaris suum eggs, leads to the formation of aldehydes, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, in low concentrations (0.0003 and 0.0005 μg/mL respectively). These levels are not hazardous to human health.

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