BACKGROUND Several mechanisms have been suggested for the bactericidal action of ionizers including electrical phenomena, effects of negative and positive ions and electrostatic repulsion. Negative and positive ions have indeed been shown to have bactericidal effects. In addition, since ozone is generated along with ions, these may contribute to the bacterial killing. In this study, we used a newly developed ionizer, which generates a relatively low concentration of ozone, to determine whether its effect on bacterial cells were due to ions or ozone, and, if ions, how the ions exerted their effects. RESULTS The effect of ions on bacterial killing was compared with that of the ozone produced using an ion trap to remove the ions. The ionizer had the ability to kill the bacteria, and ion capture dramatically reduced its bactericidal effect, indicating that the ozone generated had little or no bactericidal effect under these conditions, and the ions produced were responsible for almost all the bacterial killing. Operation of the ionizer increased the level of 8-oxo-dG, a marker of oxidative DNA damage, and decreased aconitase activity, which is known to be sensitive to ROS. The ionizer further affected the adenylate energy charge of bacterial cells. Removal of the ions with the ion trap greatly reduced all these effects. CONCLUSION These results indicate that negative and positive ions generated by the ionizer are responsible for inducing oxidative stress and so reducing bacterial survival.
Park, J. S., Sung, B. J., Yoon, K. S., & Jeong, C. S. (2016). The bactericidal effect of an ionizer under low concentration of ozone. BMC Microbiology, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12866-016-0785-5