You are studying a novel pathogenic Bacillus species, which demonstrates an unusually high resistance to a range of antimicrobial agents and heat. a) You decided to check whether or not the standard moist heat sterilisation conditions are sufficient for sterilisation of products potentially contaminated with this pathogen by autoclaving a solution spiked with these bacteria. After 15 minutes of sterilisation there still were 2526 CFU per ml of the solution, while 170 CFU/ml remained after 25 minutes. Calculate the initial bacterial titre and estimate how long this solution has to be treated to have fewer than 10 CFU/ml (Round up to the nearest minute). Would you be able to determine when this solution would contain no living bacteria at all if the sterilisation continued? Explain your answer. [40 marks] b) You continue to study the unusually heat-resistant Bacillus isolate and notice that the bacterial titre after 1 min of sterilisation is higher than the initial titre (t=0 min). What could be the reason of this effect?

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