Bioaerosol biomonitoring: Sampling optimization for molecular microbial ecology.
ABSTRACT: 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:BACKGROUND:Bioaerosol sampling devices are necessary for the characterization of infectious bioaerosols emitted by naturally-infected hosts with acute respiratory virus infections. Assessment of these devices under multiple experimental conditions will provide insight for device use. OBJECTIVES:The primary objective of this study was to assess and compare bioaerosol sampling devices using a) an in vitro, environmentally-controlled artificial bioaerosol system at a range of different RH conditions and b) an in vivo bioaerosol system of influenza virus-infected ferrets under controlled environmental conditions. Secondarily, we also sought to examine the impact of NSAIDs on bioaerosol emission in influenza virus-infected ferrets to address its potential as a determinant of bioaerosol emission. METHODS:We examined the performance of low and moderate volume bioaerosol samplers for the collection of viral RNA and infectious influenza virus in vitroand in vivo using artificial bioaerosols and the ferret model of influenza virus infection. The following samplers were tested: the polytetrafluoroethylene filter (PTFE filter), the 2-stage National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health cyclone sampler (NIOSH cyclone sampler) and the 6-stage viable Andersen impactor (Andersen impactor). RESULTS:The PTFE filter and NIOSH cyclone sampler collected similar amounts of viral RNA and infectious virus from artificially-generated aerosols under a range of relative humidities (RH). Using the ferret model, the PTFE filter, NIOSH cyclone sampler and the Andersen impactor collected up to 3.66 log10 copies of RNA/L air, 3.84 log10 copies of RNA/L air and 6.09 log10 copies of RNA/L air respectively at peak recovery. Infectious virus was recovered from the PTFE filter and NIOSH cyclone samplers on the peak day of viral RNA recovery. CONCLUSION:The PTFE filter and NIOSH cyclone sampler are useful for influenza virus RNA and infectious virus collection and may be considered for clinical and environmental settings.
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?×?10<sup>5</sup>) 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 <i>Staphylococcus epidermidis</i> and <i>Micrococcus luteus</i>). 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: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:Bioaerosol studies aim to describe the microbial content and increase understanding of the aerosolization processes linked to diseases. Air samplers are used to collect, identify, and quantify bioaerosols. Studies comparing the performances of air samplers have typically used a culture approach or have targeted a specific microorganism in laboratory settings. The objective of this study was to use environmental field samples to compare the efficiencies of 3 high-airflow-rate samplers for describing bioaerosol diversity using a next-generation sequencing approach. Two liquid cyclonic impactors and one electrostatic filter dry sampler were used in four wastewater treatment plants to target bacterial diversity and in five dairy farms to target fungal diversity. The dry electrostatic sampler was consistently more powerful in collecting more fungal and bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Substantial differences in OTU abundances between liquid and dry sampling were revealed. The majority of the diversity revealed by dry electrostatic sampling was not identified using the cyclonic liquid impactors. The findings from this work suggest that the choice of a bioaerosol sampler should include information about the efficiency and ability of samplers to cover microbial diversity. Although these results suggest that electrostatic filters result in better coverage of the microbial diversity among the tested air samplers, further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. While it is difficult to determine a single universally optimal air sampler, this work provides an in-depth look at some of the considerations that are essential when choosing an air sampler for studying the microbial ecology of bioaerosols.IMPORTANCE Associating bioaerosol exposure and health problems is challenging, and adequate exposure monitoring is a priority for scientists in the field. Conclusions that can be drawn from bioaerosol exposure studies are highly dependent on the design of the study and the methodologies used. The air sampling strategy is the first methodological step leading to an accurate interpretation of what is present in the air. Applying new molecular approaches to evaluate the efficiencies of the different types of samplers used in the field is necessary in order to circumvent traditional approaches and the biases they introduce to such studies. The results and conclusions provided in this paper should be taken in consideration when conducting a bioaerosol study.
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: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:We report here that stress experienced by bacteria due to aerosolization and air sampling can result in severe membrane impairment, leading to the release of DNA as free molecules. Escherichia coli and Bacillus atrophaeus bacteria were aerosolized and then either collected directly into liquid or collected using other collection media and then transferred into liquid. The amount of DNA released was quantified as the cell membrane damage index (ID), i.e., the number of 16S rRNA gene copies in the supernatant liquid relative to the total number in the bioaerosol sample. During aerosolization by a Collison nebulizer, the ID of E. coli and B. atrophaeus in the nebulizer suspension gradually increased during 60 min of continuous aerosolization. We found that the ID of bacteria during aerosolization was statistically significantly affected by the material of the Collison jar (glass > polycarbonate; P < 0.001) and by the bacterial species (E. coli > B. atrophaeus; P < 0.001). When E. coli was collected for 5 min by filtration, impaction, and impingement, its ID values were within the following ranges: 0.051 to 0.085, 0.16 to 0.37, and 0.068 to 0.23, respectively; when it was collected by electrostatic precipitation, the ID values (0.011 to 0.034) were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those with other sampling methods. Air samples collected inside an equine facility for 2 h by filtration and impingement exhibited ID values in the range of 0.30 to 0.54. The data indicate that the amount of cell damage during bioaerosol sampling and the resulting release of DNA can be substantial and that this should be taken into account when analyzing bioaerosol samples.
Project description:Controlling bioaerosols has become more important with increasing participation in indoor activities. Treatments using natural-product nanomaterials are a promising technique because of their relatively low toxicity compared to inorganic nanomaterials such as silver nanoparticles or carbon nanotubes. In this study, antimicrobial filters were fabricated from natural Euscaphis japonica nanoparticles, which were produced by nebulizing E. japonica extract. The coated filters were assessed in terms of pressure drop, antimicrobial activity, filtration efficiency, major chemical components, and cytotoxicity. Pressure drop and antimicrobial activity increased as a function of nanoparticle deposition time (590, 855, and 1150 µg/cm2(filter) at 3-, 6-, and 9-min depositions, respectively). In filter tests, the antimicrobial efficacy was greater against Staphylococcus epidermidis than Micrococcus luteus; ~61, ~73, and ~82% of M. luteus cells were inactivated on filters that had been coated for 3, 6, and 9 min, respectively, while the corresponding values were ~78, ~88, and ~94% with S. epidermidis. Although statistically significant differences in filtration performance were not observed between samples as a function of deposition time, the average filtration efficacy was slightly higher for S. epidermidis aerosols (~97%) than for M. luteus aerosols (~95%). High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI/MS) analyses confirmed that the major chemical compounds in the E. japonica extract were 1(ß)-O-galloyl pedunculagin, quercetin-3-O-glucuronide, and kaempferol-3-O-glucoside. In vitro cytotoxicity and disk diffusion tests showed that E. japonica nanoparticles were less toxic and exhibited stronger antimicrobial activity toward some bacterial strains than a reference soluble nickel compound, which is classified as a human carcinogen. This study provides valuable information for the development of a bioaerosol control system that is environmental friendly and suitable for use in indoor environments.
Project description:Passive bioaerosol samplers can improve environmental and health protection by enhancing the practicality and cost-effectiveness of air sampling. Here, we present the outdoor field testing of a novel, passive bioaerosol sampler, the Rutgers Electrostatic Passive Sampler (REPS), based on the use of polarized, ferroelectric polymer film (poly(vinylidene fluoride)). Four 10-day-long field campaigns were conducted to compare total (culturable + non-culturable) and culturable bioaerosol collection efficiencies of REPS to passive samplers (PTFE settling filters and agar settling plates). These collection efficiencies were calculated relative to performance of an active, reference Button Sampler. Compared to passive PTFE filters, which exclusively rely on gravitational particle deposition, REPS collected a 7-fold higher total microorganism quantity. Relative to the Button Sampler, REPS collected 25% of the total number of bacteria and fungi and 65% of the culturable bacteria. Furthermore, REPS achieved this performance without any air movers, pumps, batteries or external power. Since the Button Samplers operated at 4 L/min, REPS was calibrated to have equivalent sampling rates of 2.6 L/min and 1.0 L/min for culturable bacteria and total microorganisms, respectively. These results suggest that REPS can passively collect airborne microorganisms, including culturable bacteria, with high efficiency over long-term sampling durations. REPS can provide better preservation of bacterial culturability because it has no active airflow, which desiccates microbes in active samplers. Since there are limited options available for long-term, unattended bioaerosol sampling, REPS can complement currently available bioaerosol sampling technologies for numerous environmental health applications, such as exposure assessment for epidemiology and monitoring aeroallergen trends.
Project description:The lack of necessary air pollution control measures in the construction of hospital wastewater treatment plants results in the release of harmful bioaerosols in and around the hospital. A sampling of airborne bacteria and fungi was performed using the gravitational method in 9 sites including an upwind site, intra-plant and outside a hospital wastewater treatment plants with activated sludge technology in Tehran (1, 5 and 3 points, respectively) from March to June. Bioaerosol on nutrient agar media were identified quantitatively and qualitatively. Intra-plant airborne particulate matter concentrations were measured by an optical particle sizer in intervals of 6 s for 60 min. The environmental parameters were also recorded in the sampling period. Experimental data was collected and analyzed by Excel software and SPSS statistical software version 23, respectively. This work is useful to help manage bioaerosols exposure risk such as WWTP.