Urban Enhancement of PM10 Bioaerosol Tracers Relative to Background Locations in the Midwestern United States.
ABSTRACT: Bioaerosols are well-known immune-active particles that exacerbate respiratory diseases. Human exposures to bioaerosols and their resultant health impacts depend on their ambient concentrations, seasonal and spatial variation, and co-pollutants, which are not yet widely characterized. In this study, chemical and biological tracers of bioaerosols were quantified in respirable particulate matter (PM10) collected at three urban and three background sites in the Midwestern United States across four seasons in 2012. Endotoxins from gram negative bacteria (and a few gram positive bacteria), water-soluble proteins, and tracers for fungal spores (fungal glucans, arabitol and mannitol) were ubiquitous and showed significant seasonal variation and dependence on temperature. Fungal spores were elevated in spring and peaked in summer, following the seasonal growing cycle, while endotoxins peaked in autumn during the row crop harvesting season. Paired comparisons of bioaerosols in urban and background sites revealed significant urban enhancements in PM10, fungal glucans, endotoxins and water-soluble proteins relative to background locations, such that urban populations have a greater outdoor exposure to bioaerosols. These bioaerosols contribute, in part, to the urban excesses in PM10. Higher bioaerosol mass fractions in urban areas relative to background sites indicate that urban areas serve as a source of bioaerosols. Similar urban enhancements in water-soluble calcium and its correlation with bioaerosol tracers point towards wind-blown soil as an important source of bioaerosols in urban areas.
Project description:As a bioaerosol sampling standard, Andersen type impactor is widely used since its invention in 1950s, including the investigation of the anthrax attacks in the United States in 2001. However, its related problems such as impaction and desiccation stress as well as particle bounce have not been solved. Here, we improved its biological collection efficiencies by plating a mineral oil layer (100 µL) onto the agar plate. An Andersen six-stage sampler and a BioStage impactor were tested with mineral-oil-spread agar plates in collecting indoor and outdoor bacterial and fungal aerosols. The effects of sampling times (5, 10 and 20 min) were also studied using the BioStage impactor when sampling environmental bioaerosols as well as aerosolized Bacillus subtilis (G+) and Escherichia coli (G-). In addition, particle bounce reduction by mineral-oil-plate was also investigated using an optical particle counter (OPC). Experimental results revealed that use of mineral-oil-spread agar plate can substantially enhance culturable bioaerosol recoveries by Andersen type impactors (p-values<0.05). The recovery enhancement was shown to depend on bioaerosol size, type, sampling time and environment. In general, more enhancements (extra 20%) were observed for last stage of the Andersen six-stage samplers compared to the BioStage impactor for 10 min sampling. When sampling aerosolized B. subtilis, E. coli and environmental aerosols, the enhancement was shown to increase with increasing sampling time, ranging from 50% increase at 5 min to ?100% at 20 min. OPC results indicated that use of mineral oil can effectively reduce the particle bounce with an average of 66% for 10 min sampling. Our work suggests that enhancements for fungal aerosols were primarily attributed to the reduced impaction stress, while for bacterial aerosols reduced impaction, desiccation and particle bounce played major roles. The developed technology can readily enhance the agar-based techniques including those high volume portable samplers for bioaerosol monitoring.
Project description:Since poor air quality affects human health in the short and long term, much research has been performed on indoor and outdoor aerosol exposure; however, there is a lack of specific data on the exposure and health risks of inhalable aerosols that contain bioaerosol in different environments of human life. To investigate the potential exposure to inhalable aerosols (in the monitoring of particulate matter (PM) based on R modeling, variations of PM depend on the ventilation system and bioaerosols based on size distribution) in various environments, the special viability and culturability of bioaerosols and their deposition doses in the respiratory system were evaluated. We conducted exposure assessments on inhalable aerosols in various indoor environments (childcare facilities, schools, commercial buildings, elderly and homes). The fractions of PM (PM10, PM4 and PM2.5) were investigated and, for the bioaerosol, the viability, culturability, inhalation daily dose and the deposited dose of the aerosol in the respiratory system were calculated to evaluate the human health effects. For two years, the distribution of the indoor PM concentration was high in all PM fractions in schools and commercial buildings, and low in the elderly and at homes. For airborne bacteria, the highest concentrations were shown in the childcare facility during the four seasons, while airborne fungi showed high concentrations in the buildings during the spring and summer, which showed significant differences from other investigated environments (between the buildings and elderly and homes: p < 0.05). The viability and culturability for the bioaerosol showed no significant difference in all environments, and the correlation between inhalable PM and bioaerosol obtained from the six-stage impactor showed that the coefficient of determination (R2) between coarse particles (PM10-2.5, the size of stage 2-3) and cultivable airborne bacteria ranged from 0.70 (elderly and homes) to 0.84 (school) during the summer season.
Project description:Bioaerosols from swine confinement buildings (SCBs) pose a challenge to public health,and microorganisms within the SCBs bioaerosols originate from swine feces, of which the microbialcomposition is associated with the production phase. The present study adopted the wholemetagenome shotgun sequencing approach, to assess the effects of the production phase on thecomposition and functional potential of microbial populations in SCBs bioaerosols. Most annotatedproteins were assigned into domain bacteria, within which the predominant phylum was Firmicutes.The taxonomical profiles of bioaerosols from different types of piggeries showed that buildingshousing weaning piglets (WP) exhibited higher abundances of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria thanbuildings housing finishing pigs (FP), gestating sows (GS), farrowing sows (FS), and breeding boars(BB). Regarding the functional potential, the WP bioaerosol had more genes involved in the proteinturnover and fewer genes involved in the carbohydrate metabolism than bioaerosols from othertypes of SCBs. Furthermore, production phase influenced the antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs)profile of the SCBs bioaerosols. Bioaerosol microbiome of BB, shared a high similarity with GS, andWP bioaerosol microbiome was more similar to FP than other types of SCBs. Our study suggeststhat the production phase plays a key role in the SCBs bioaerosol microbiome.
Project description:We have quantified vegetable growers' exposure to fungal bioaerosol components including (1?3)-?-d-glucan (?-glucan), total fungal spores, and culturable fungal units. Furthermore, we have evaluated factors that might affect vegetable growers' exposure to fungal bioaerosols and airborne dust. Investigated environments included greenhouses producing cucumbers and tomatoes, open fields producing cabbage, broccoli, and celery, and packing facilities. Measurements were performed at different times during the growth season and during execution of different work tasks. Bioaerosols were collected with personal and stationary filter samplers. Selected fungal species (Beauveria spp., Trichoderma spp., Penicillium olsonii, and Penicillium brevicompactum) were identified using different polymerase chain reaction-based methods and sequencing. We found that the factors (i) work task, (ii) crop, including growth stage of handled plant material, and (iii) open field versus greenhouse significantly affected the workers' exposure to bioaerosols. Packing of vegetables and working in open fields caused significantly lower exposure to bioaerosols, e.g. mesophilic fungi and dust, than harvesting in greenhouses and clearing of senescent greenhouse plants. Also removing strings in cucumber greenhouses caused a lower exposure to bioaerosols than harvest of cucumbers while removal of old plants caused the highest exposure. In general, the exposure was higher in greenhouses than in open fields. The exposures to ?-glucan during harvest and clearing of senescent greenhouse plants were very high (median values ranging between 50 and 1500 ng m(-3)) compared to exposures reported from other occupational environments. In conclusion, vegetable growers' exposure to bioaerosols was related to the environment, in which they worked, the investigated work tasks, and the vegetable crop.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bioaerosols are defined as airborne particles of liquid or volatile compounds that contain living organisms or have been released from living organisms. The creation of bioaerosols is a recognized consequence of certain types of dental treatment and represents a potential mechanism for the spread of infection. OBJECTIVES:The aims of the present study were to assess the bioaerosols generated by certain dental procedures and to evaluate the efficiency of a commercially available Air Cleaning System (ACS) designed to reduce bioaerosol levels. METHODS:Bioaerosol sampling was undertaken in the absence of clinical activity (baseline) and also during treatment procedures (cavity preparation using an air rotor, history and oral examination, ultrasonic scaling and tooth extraction under local anaesthesia). For each treatment, bioaerosols were measured for two patient episodes (with and without ACS operation) and between five and nine bioaerosol samples were collected. For baseline measurements, 15 bioaerosol samples were obtained. For bioaerosol sampling, environmental air was drawn on to blood agar plates using a bioaerosol sampling pump placed in a standard position 20 cm from the dental chair. Plates were incubated aerobically at 37°C for 48 hours and resulting growth quantified as colony forming units (cfu/m³). Distinct colony types were identified using standard methods. Results were analysed statistically using SPSS 12 and Wilcoxon signed rank tests. RESULTS:The ACS resulted in a significant reduction (p = 0.001) in the mean bioaerosols (cfu/m³) of all three clinics compared with baseline measurements. The mean level of bioaerosols recorded during the procedures, with or without the ACS activated respectively, was 23.9 cfu/m³ and 105.1 cfu/m³ (p = 0.02) for cavity preparation, 23.9 cfu/m³ and 62.2 cfu/m³ (p = 0.04) for history and oral examination; 41.9 cfu/m³ and 70.9 cfu/m³ (p = 0.01) for ultrasonic scaling and 9.1 cfu/m³ and 66.1 cfu/m³ (p = 0.01) for extraction. The predominant microorganisms isolated were Staphylococcus species and Micrococcus species. CONCLUSION:These findings indicate potentially hazardous bioaerosols created during dental procedures can be significantly reduced using an air cleaning system.
Project description:We observed the atmospheric resuspension of radiocaesium, derived from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, at Namie, a heavily contaminated area of Fukushima, since 2012. During the survey periods from 2012 to 2015, the activity concentrations of radiocaesium in air ranged from approximately 10-5 to 10-2 Bq per m3 and were higher in the warm season than in the cold season. Electron microscopy showed that the particles collected on filters in summer were predominantly of biological origin (bioaerosols), with which the observed radiocaesium activity concentration varied. We conducted an additional aerosol analysis based on fluorescent optical microscopic observation and high-throughput DNA sequencing technique to identify bioaerosols at Namie in 2015 summer. The concentrations of bioaerosols fluctuated the order of 106 particles per m3, and the phyla Basidiomycota and Ascomycota (true Fungi) accounted for approximately two-thirds of the bioaerosols. Moreover, the fungal spore concentration in air was positively correlated with the radiocaesium concentration at Namie in summer 2016. The bioaerosol emissions from Japanese mixed forests in the temperate zone predominately included fungal cells, which are known to accumulate radiocaesium, and should be considered an important scientific issue that must be addressed.
Project description:We present a novel bioaerosol sampling system based on a wet-cyclone for real-time and continuous monitoring of airborne microorganisms. The Automated and Real-time Bioaerosol Sampler based on Wet-cyclone (ARBSW) continuously collects bioaerosols in a liquid medium and delivers the samples to a sensing device using a wireless remote control system. Based on a high air-to-liquid-flow-rate ratio (? 1.4?×?105) and a stable liquid thin film within a wet-cyclone, the system achieved excellent sampling performance as indicated by the high concentration and viability of bioaerosols (> 95% collection efficiency for > 0.5-?m-diameter particles, > 95% biological collection efficiency for Staphylococcus epidermidis and Micrococcus luteus). Furthermore, the continuous and real-time sampling performance of the ARBSW system under test-bed conditions and during a field test demonstrated that the ARBSW is capable of continuously monitoring bioaerosols in real time with high sensitivity. Therefore, the ARBSW shows promise for continuous real-time monitoring of bioaerosols and will facilitate the management of bioaerosol-related health and environmental issues.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted in bioaerosols containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Despite being central to ongoing TB transmission, no routine diagnostic assay exists to measure Mtb in bioaerosols. Furthermore, published studies of Mtb in bioaerosol samples have been limited to individuals with sputum-positive pulmonary TB. Notably, TB diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms and sputum laboratory findings. This is despite the fact that approximately half of all patients commencing TB treatment are sputum-negative, resulting in a high proportion of presumptive treatments. Here, we propose to use a sensitive air sampling protocol to investigate the prevalence of Mtb-containing bioaerosols in both sputum-positive and sputum-negative TB suspects, at the same time evaluating the potential to identify unrecognized transmitters of TB. METHODS:Our parallel-group design will identify viable Mtb in bioaerosols produced by individuals attending a TB clinic in South Africa. Sampling will be performed on eligible individuals presenting with symptoms indicative of TB and repeated at 14?days if initially positive. Participants will be prospectively classified into three distinct groups based on National TB Control Program (NTBCP) criteria: Group A, TB notification with sputum-based laboratory confirmation; Group B, TB notification with empiric diagnosis; and Group C, individuals not notified. Group C individuals with detectable Mtb bioaerosol will be monitored until resolution of clinical and laboratory status. Collection of bioaerosol specimens will be via two consecutive sampling modalities: (1) direct sampling following a specific respiratory manoeuvre; and (2) indirect sampling during passive respiratory activity. Bioaerosol specimens will be analyzed for viable Mtb using DMN-trehalose staining and live-cell fluorescence microscopy. Mtb genomes and mycobacterial and host lipids will be detected using droplet digital PCR and mass spectrometry analyses, respectively. The primary objective is to determine the prevalence of Mtb bioaerosols in all TB clinic attendees and in each of the groups. Secondary objectives are to investigate differences in prevalence of Mtb bioaerosol by HIV status and current isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) use; we will also determine the impact of anti-TB chemotherapy on Mtb-containing bioaerosol production. DISCUSSION:Respiratory bioaerosol has a potential role in non-invasive TB diagnosis, infectivity measurement and treatment monitoring. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04241809 . Date of Registration: 27/1/2020.
Project description:Bioaerosols (or biogenic aerosols) have largely been overlooked by molecular ecologists. However, this is rapidly changing as bioaerosols play key roles in public health, environmental chemistry and the dispersal ecology of microbes. Due to the low environmental concentrations of bioaerosols, collecting sufficient biomass for molecular methods is challenging. Currently, no standardized methods for bioaerosol collection for molecular ecology research exist. Each study requires a process of optimization, which greatly slows the advance of bioaerosol science. Here, we evaluated air filtration and liquid impingement for bioaerosol sampling across a range of environmental conditions. We also investigated the effect of sampling matrices, sample concentration strategies and sampling duration on DNA yield. Air filtration using polycarbonate filters gave the highest recovery, but due to the faster sampling rates possible with impingement, we recommend this method for fine -scale temporal/spatial ecological studies. To prevent bias for the recovery of Gram-positive bacteria, we found that the matrix for impingement should be phosphate-buffered saline. The optimal method for bioaerosol concentration from the liquid matrix was centrifugation. However, we also present a method using syringe filters for rapid in-field recovery of bioaerosols from impingement samples, without compromising microbial diversity for high -throughput sequencing approaches. Finally, we provide a resource that enables molecular ecologists to select the most appropriate sampling strategy for their specific research question.
Project description:Evidence of exposure to enteric pathogens through the air and associated risk of infection is scarce in the literature outside of animal- or human-waste handling settings. Cities with poor sanitation are important locations to investigate this aerial exposure pathway as their rapid growth will pose unprecedented challenges in waste management. To address this issue, simple surveillance methods are needed. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to optimize a community exposure bioaerosol surveillance strategy for urban outdoor locations with poor sanitation, and to determine which bioaerosols could contribute to exposure. Passive and active bioaerosol sampling methods were used to characterize the fate and transport of sanitation-related bioaerosols during the rainy and dry seasons in La Paz, Bolivia. Median coliform bacteria fluxes were 71 CFU/(m2 × h) during the rainy season and 64 CFU/(m2 × h) during the dry season, with 38% of the dry season samples testing positive for E. coli. Wind speed, relative humidity and UVB irradiance were identified as significant covariates to consider in bioaerosol transport models in La Paz. Active sampling yielded one positive sample (10%) for human adenovirus (HadV) and one sample (10%) for influenza A virus during the rainy season. HadV was detected at the site with the highest bacterial flux. Four samples (8%) were positive for influenza A virus in the dry season. These findings suggest that aerosols can contribute to community exposure to potentially pathogenic microorganisms in cities with poor sanitation. The use of passive sampling, despite its limitations, can provide quantitative data on microorganisms' viability within realistic timeframes of personal exposure.