Sterilization (microbiology)

Sterilization refers to any process that removes, kills, or deactivates all forms of life (in particular referring to microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, spores, unicellular eukaryotic organisms such as Plasmodium, etc.) and other biological agents like prions present in a specific surface, object or fluid, for example food or biological culture media. Sterilization can be achieved through various means, including heat, chemicals, irradiation, high pressure, and filtration. Sterilization is distinct from disinfection, sanitization, and pasteurization, in that those methods reduce rather than eliminate all forms of life and biological agents present. After sterilization, an object is referred to as being sterile or aseptic.