Genetic testing options (PCR) and microscope  examinations
© Fraunhofer IBP
Despite genetic testing options (PCR), it is still indispensable to examine microorganisms under the microscope in order to identify them accurately.

Hygiene: tracking down germs with microbiology and chemical analysis

Basically, the term hygiene covers all conditions and practices that serve to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases. The presence or growth of organisms harmful to health on surfaces, in the air and in water plays a major role in many areas of everyday life - for example in public facilities, living and working areas or means of transport. To find out if there is a hygiene issue, we identify microorganisms and make germ counts (e.g. on surfaces, insulating materials and building materials). We implement standard microbiological procedures to do this. Our experts check the efficacy of disinfection or sterilization processes and develop recommendations to improve them. A further focus is on assessing whether the design and hygienic operation of sanitary facilities, as well as of ventilation and air-conditioning systems, comply with standards. This includes testing air filters forming part of air-conditioning systems for use in buildings, or air filters for use inside means of transport.

Today, drinking water is no longer free from anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) influences. Consequently, trace substances are increasingly being detected in aquifers used for drinking water. Our experts help water suppliers to determine the source of undesirable trace substances and how they find their way into the water supply. Fraunhofer IBP has a modern trace analysis laboratory at its disposal to tackle such tasks. Thanks to microbiological and genetic testing methods, we not only identify harmful organisms but also recommend or adapt measures to control them. We use methods we have developed ourselves, as well as standardized national or international test procedures.