Has ATP testing been misrepresented in order to sell VLM equipment?

John G

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[h=1]The Science and Technology of ATP[/h]By Robert W. Powitz, Ph.D., MPH
ATP is the primary energy transfer molecule present in all living biological cells on Earth. ATP cannot be produced or maintained by anything but a living organism, and as such, its measurement is a direct indication of biological activity. For hygiene testing the total ATP content of the sample is determined.

The purpose of ATP testing is to achieve and defensibly document effective cleaning by following the principle that if biomass is not present on critical surfaces after cleanup there is not enough medium for microbiological proliferation. Simply stated: no biological contamination, no microbial growth.

The main advantage of ATP as a biological indicator is the speed of the analysis. Unlike quantitative microbiological monitoring that requires at least several hours, quantitative biological monitoring takes only minutes from collecting the samples to obtaining the results. Results are given in real time.

Here is how it works: ATP is rapidly detected by light emission through the combined use of luciferase and a luminometer. An ATP free swab is moistened with an ATP free buffer, water or extractant. The use of the extractant helps releasing ATP from the surface being sampled. Using a portable luminometer, testing the swab is usually done immediately. There are some systems where the swabs are stable for a number of hours; thereby allowing the user to complete the analysis at a workstation or other location.

Note: Although studies show there is often a correlation between ATP measurements and presence of live bacteria, ATP testing is not a substitute for plate counts and pathogen testing in healthcare environments, even though the temptation is there to use it as such in this age of expediency.

Interpretation of Results

There is a grave misunderstanding in our industry that the ATP monitoring system is a 'bug test' when it really is a 'dirt test.' I would be remiss if I did not advise you about some of the nuances of data interpretation. The test readout is in relative light units (RLUs), which mean the systems measure luminescent units, not cells. Remember, the luminometer detects bioluminescence from ATP, a cell constituent.
 
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[h=1]Limits of applicability of the firefly luminescence ATP assay for the detection of bacteria in clinical specimens.[/h]Conn RB, Charache P, Chappelle EW.
[h=3]Abstract[/h]ATP measurement can be used as an indicator of biological mass, and the extreme sensitivity of the firefly ATP assay has led to its use in bacterial detection systems. Clinical specimens present problems not encountered with cultured isolates of known bacterial species. The lower limit of sensitivity for detecting bacteria using the firefly assay is 100,000 bacteria per ml. Non-bacterial ATP, which is probably present in all clinical specimens, produces false-positive results unless it is completely destroyed, and this destruction must be carried out under conditions that do not affect bacterial ATP. A cause of false-negative results is the presence in all urine specimens of unidentified materials that inhibit the luminescent enzymic reaction. These considerations indicate that application of the firefly ATP assay in bacterial detection systems for clinical specimens is feasible only if a preparatory step separates bacteria from interfering materials and from non-bacterial sources of ATP, and concentrates microorganisms to measurable levels. These limitations sharply curtain the applicability in diagnostic microbiology of this exotic chemical reaction.


<dl class="rprtid"><dt>PMID:</dt> <dd>164116</dd> <dd> [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] </dd></dl>
 
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John G

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Again, I guess reading is an issue Lee, this is not (for carpet cleaning) a bug test, it is a dirt test, and I will put my money on the Ph.D., MPH, which is % of removal which is what i have said from the beginning.

Richard, your last paragraph correctly explains what we are doing with it as a dirt test, thank you.
 
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The presence of URINE causes false negative results.

That's great news for someone who wants to get urine soaked carpets to test as "CLEAN"!
 
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It's sadly poetic that after adopting a new "religious" name for both the company and its flagship product, John latches on to a misleading use of a product that measures:

LUCIFERase, from "light bearer" from the "dark side"...

:-)
 

Desk Jockey

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Training1_zpsa75e81ed.jpg

Is this really testing you expect carpet cleaners to do? How many will buy a $1,200.00 meter just for testing? Why are they testing? Are they to reclean and retest areas that don't meet the 300 threshold?
 

John G

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Who said anything about urine Lee? This is twisting what has been said....

but the lucifer thingy was funny as "heck".....LOL

Richard, obviously vlm are not as cheap a farts as you hwe guys..LOL
Why are they testing? Are they to reclean and retest areas that don't meet the 300 threshold?
They testing % of removal, and it has locked down some huge commercial jobs for them.. i.e. money, you know that stuff they work for?
No one that I know of does any re-cleaning..
 

John G

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This has not been done on urine jobs, so that has NO BEARING on the tests.[video=youtube_share;yf__fveHqyg]http://youtu.be/yf__fveHqyg[/video]
 

joelhall2012

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its funny....most guys who get in this business now and days they are so worried about the "system"......john is trying to sale his "system" as better because is removes more soil....or by touting guys who switched from hwe to vlm.....im pretty sure most of you got into this business to make money....and then act like your "system" is somehow more worthy....like you can sleep better at night because you "removed" more dirt.....it is my belief that95% of all customers call so you will make their carpets "look" better and "smell" better.....that's it...so simple.......and yet you all try and complicate it....I have no idea why....if youmake them look and smell better you have done what they wanted end of story...NOW if a guy like John would understand that if he sold a guaranteed marketing plan to get customers...and when you get those customers you can use this Trinity machine to make their carpets look and smell better...he would have something....but he does not get it....and is the absolute worst at marketing....him and his OP machines have been around for what?? 30 years....and still just pluggin along..nothing to be reckoned with....oxi fresh comes along 8 years ago and trumps anything John has ever dreamed of doing with a machine that removes NO dirt...just brushes in encap....and maybe leaving some saw dust in the carpet.......WHY??? marketing carpets that look clean and smell better......its simple brethren!
 
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Mardie

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This has not been done on urine jobs, so that has NO BEARING on the tests.[video=youtube_share;yf__fveHqyg]http://youtu.be/yf__fveHqyg[/video]



Hey guys check out my new ride. There is nothing like hand full of pre vac AND post vac polypropolene carpet fibers to impress on a client as to how effective a cleaning can be.
 
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Mardie has been relieved for a few hours. As such, I think we should take a break from conversation regarding his series of posts. Absolutely no editing or suppression has, or will occur provided comments are made in a dignified manner without foul language or expression. However, repeated expletives or expressions of expletives will not be tolerated. Mardie was warned, and then proceeded to re-offend in the same manner.

He will be welcomed back, provided he observes the rules of the Clean Room. The Bird Room is provided, if he can't.
 
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Radar Foster

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I think Mardie is a pretty good sport, I disagree with his argument but haven't found him being any more offensive than what has been tossed his way
 
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John, please, you have experience in the matter, and know full well your remark is of no help. Carry on.
 
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