Whitley Workstation used in Clostridium difficile study

A35 Clostridium difficile study

The Whitley A35 Workstation has recently been used by a group at Monash University in a study relating to toxins affected by Clostridium difficile.


This very interesting research paper, entitled “CdtR Regulates TcdA and TcdB Production in Clostridium difficile“, was written by researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. The results from the study “establish CdtR as an important virulence regulator in two clinically important, epidemic strains of C. difficile, and further highlights the need to investigate regulatory mechanisms of important virulence factors in diverse strain backgrounds.”  The paper proves for the first time that “TcdA and TcdB production is linked to the production of CDT by a common regulatory mechanism”.


Click here to read the full paper

Anaerobes. Where to Start?

Introduction to Clinical Anaerobic Bacteriology
Introduction to Clinical Anaerobic Bacteriology

To a newcomer, the field of anaerobic research can seem intimidatingly vast. With so many varieties of anaerobes, and differing means of culturing them, you may find yourself wondering whether the method you are using is really the most efficient and cost-effective.

The first thing you need to consider is the type of anaerobe you are cultivating, whilst aerotolerant organisms and facultative anaerobes will not be harmed by a small amount of oxygen, obligate anaerobes require a completely oxygen-free environment.

We have recently produced a useful reference guide: An Introduction to Clinical Anaerobic Bacteriology which enables the reader to isolate and identify 12 commonly occurring and clinically important anaerobic bacteria.


New Chilled Incubation Compartment

If you need to store small quantities of media and samples in anaerobic conditions, but at lower than ambient temperatures, you can now specify an optional Chilled Incubation Compartment for a Whitley A35 or A45 Workstation.

This insulated compartment is located on the left hand side of the workstation and is accessed from the main chamber. When you open the compartment door, the plate carrier basket swings outwards to allow easy access. It has a capacity of 10 x 90mm Petri dishes or items of a similar size.

The temperature in the Chilled Incubation Compartment can be easily adjusted, in 0.1°C increments, via the workstation’s colour touchscreen. The operating temperature range is between +12°C and +25°C and the temperature distribution within the compartment is within 2°C*.

This option must be specified at time of order as it is a factory-fitted modification.


*Laboratory and main chamber temperatures may influence the upper and lower temperature levels that can be achieved.

Did you know: How best to clean your workstation?

Laboratory Standard Shot DYK Blog



This is the 10th in our ‘Did you know’ series of articles introducing things you may not know about the Whitley range of products and services – read on and you may find out something about your workstation that could make your working life easier.

We regularly receive enquiries from customers with regard to which disinfectants can be safely used inside Whitley Workstations. Although it is not practicable to evaluate every available product, we have tested the materials compatibility of several sporicidal disinfectants and can now provide comprehensive advice on this topic.



How often should I clean my workstation?

DWS recommend that as part of the daily checks, users ensure that the workstation is free from spillage and cleaning carried out as necessary. Prior to having your workstation serviced, however, it may be necessary for it to be decontaminated.

Which disinfectants have DWS tested?

  • Spor-Klenz – peracetic acid (approx 0.1%) + hydrogen peroxide (approx 1.0%) – “ready to use” product, tested without further dilution.
  • Chemgene HLD4H – quaternary ammonium compounds (approx 1%) + chlorhexidine digluconate (approx 1%) – “ready to use” product, tested without further dilution.
  • Safe Hospital – hypochlorous acid – “ready to use” product, tested without further dilution.
  • Tristel Fuse – chlorine dioxide (approx 1%) – prepared from concentrated components according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For more information on these tests, please see the appendices of your Whitley Workstation user manual.


Which of the above products are OK for use in a Whitley Workstation?

Our tests demonstrated that each of these formulations is satisfactory for use in Whitley Workstations and will not cause any damage when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.


What if I want to use a cleaning agent not on the above list?

Other disinfectants containing the active ingredients listed above, at similar concentrations to those shown, can also be safely used inside Whitley Workstations. If you wish to use a disinfectant containing active ingredients not listed here, please contact us for advice before proceeding.


Why should I contact DWS for advice – will any damage not be covered under my warranty?

Unfortunately, we cannot cover under the equipment’s warranty any damage caused to a Whitley Workstation as a result of exposure to products that have not been approved by us.


Can I use Virkon as my preferred sanitising solution?

After a thorough study lasting 20 weeks, we concluded that the presence of any uncovered containers of Virkon in anaerobic and variable atmosphere workstations leads to the degradation of stainless steel, brass and some other metal components. The effect is more considerable when oxygen is present in the selected gas mixture. These conclusions are supported by technical information available on the Virkon manufacturer’s website and independent observations by an Institute of Materials metallurgist. If Virkon is the preferred sanitising solution these adverse effects can be minimised by ensuring that Virkon within any workstation is always kept in a covered vessel when not in use.


OK, so what’s the best way to clean the acrylic parts of a Whitley Workstation?Labdet100 Blog

The transparent and/or white acrylic on the inside and outside of the Whitley Workstation System may be swabbed with a 2% solution of Labdet 100 (DWS – stock code D00003) in warm water and dried afterwards with a soft clean cloth. In the case of culture spillages then any of the disinfectants listed above solution should be applied to the spillage and left for 30 minutes. It should then be mopped.


Never use any solvent on the acrylic surfaces of the workstation. Use only water and a mild detergent solution (i.e. Labdet 100 2% solution) as a cleaning agent.


What if the spillage leaks underneath the floor of the workstation?

If spillage is not contained on the working surface then access underneath this area will be required in all Whitley Workstations except the DG250. Some workstations require the removal of retaining bolts before the floor can be lifted up or pivoted for cleaning underneath.

If liquid has been spilled upon the Anotox and catalyst sachets they should be removed, dried and/or replaced.


How can I deal with scratches on the acrylic plastic surface of my workstation?

Scratches may be removed by gently polishing the surface with ‘DURAGLIT WADDING’ followed by wiping with a soft clean cloth. Deep scratches may require the use of Wet and Dry abrasive paper used wet, followed by polishing with ‘DURAGLIT’ – seek advice from Don Whitley Scientific Limited or our authorised agents overseas.


How can I clean the sleeves on my workstation?Sleeve Kit-Components DYK Blog

The white sleeves used on all Whitley Workstations may require cleaning after periods of extended use. There are a number of options for cleaning and some recommendations listed below:

  • Wipe with a mild detergent
  • Wash or dry-clean with a detergent up to 75ºC
  • For disinfection use Sodium Hypochlorite (at no more than 1000ppm active Chlorine) or any of the disinfectants listed above
  • Do not use Biological or Phenolic based cleaners
  • Wash and dry completely before storage
  • Some surface wrinkling may occur.


If you have any remaining concerns about disinfectants for use in Whitley Workstations, please get in touch with our sales team:

Tel: 01274 595728


Email: sales@meintrup-dws.de


Queens University Belfast

A research at QUB using the Whitley A45 Workstation

Groundbreaking research conducted at Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Pharmacy and the Centre for Infection and Immunity has led to new knowledge about cystic fibrosis (CF) that is being applied to patient care.

This video, produced by Video Services at QUB, explains new clinical trials where CF patients are participating in a clinical study aimed at bringing medicines and treatments to people faster. An important recent finding was that the lungs of people with CF are host to many different types of bacteria. The team are working to identify which ones may cause problems for people with CF. As part of this identification project, patient samples are processed in the laboratory in anaerobic workstations (the video shows staff using Whitley A35 and A45 Workstations).

The university is also working on better ways of delivering drugs to CF lungs, including the use of nanoparticles.


New Adjustable Height Workstation Trolley

Whitley H35 Anaerobic Workstation


Adjustable Height Trolley for Whitley A35/H35 Workstations

Now you can determine the working height of your Whitley Workstation when mounted on your new trolley.

This new trolley allows you to adjust the height to a more comfortable, convenient working position to suit the needs of your laboratory. This feature is particularly useful for those laboratories where staff prefer to work in a sitting position.

The trolley is extremely durable, strong and easy to clean.


  • The height adjusts from 600 to 900 mm with 50 mm graduated steps
  • Rated to carry up to a 240kg equal load
  • White Trespa Athlon top that has high impact and chemical resistance
  • Made from quality, kite-marked steel
  • Sand blasted and painted under heat to ensure a tough, long-lasting finish that will not crack, chip or peel
  • 10 year guarantee against normal usage failure.

This new trolley is available for the Whitley A35 Anaerobic Workstation and the Whitley H35 Hypoxystation, however if you require an adjustable trolley for other Whitley Workstations, please contact us on sales@dwscientific.co.uk or telephone 01274 595728

To order, please quote Order Code: A06704

Use of HEPA Filtration within an Anaerobic Chamber …

Dr Pridmore at Anaerobe 2014

On 30th June, Dr Andrew Pridmore, Head of Microbiology at Don Whitley Scientific, presented a poster entitled Use of HEPA Filtration within an Anaerobic Chamber to Reduce Bacterial Density in the Incubation Atmosphere, at Anaerobe 2014 (12th Biennial of the Anaerobic Society of the Americas, Chicago, USA). Copies of the poster can be obtained from the DWS website.

A35 at the University of the West of Scotland

A35 Workstation at the University of the West of Scotland

For the purpose of the research being carried out at the University of the West of Scotland, a workstation which kept specific bacterial strains in an enclosed, continuous anaerobic environment was sought out. The purchase of a Don Whitley A35 Workstation catered for this and more.


Time Lapse Microscopy in a Whitley Workstation

LumaScope in a Whitley Workstation

As there have been many advances over the years with Whitley Workstations, it’s interesting to see what new equipment can be used inside them in today’s laboratories in both routine and specialist applications.

LumaScope 400
LumaScope 400

One device that we know is being used in a Whitley Workstation is the LumaScope™ Live Cell Imaging Platform. Keeping it inside the workstation chamber provides more meaningful data, from happy cells without the issues associated with gaining access to conventional microscopes.


A35 Used in Clostridium difficile Study

Flock G and Mooyottu S at ASM 2014

A poster entitled: ‘Efficacy of Octenidine Hydrochloride in Reducing Hyper-virulent Clostridium difficile Spores on Stainless Steel Surface’ was presented at the American Society for Microbiology, held in Boston (May 2014). The authors, Genevieve Flock, Shankumar Mooyottu and Kumar Venkitanarayanan, from the Department of Animal Science, University of Connecticut, had used a Whitley A35 Anaerobic Workstation in their study. Here’s a photograph of Genevieve and Shankumar at the ASM with their poster.

A total of four research abstracts from the lab, including an award winning poster on C. difficile epidemiology and pathogenesis, in which the Whitley A35 Workstation was used as an integral part of the research, were presented at ASM 2014 and at IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) 2013.

A manuscript entitled: ‘Carvacrol and trans-Cinnamaldehyde Reduce Clostridium difficile Toxin Production and Cytotoxicity in Vitro’, published this year, can be found on the Don Whitley Scientific website.

Poster and photograph reproduced by kind permission of Genevieve Flock.