A pilot study of bioaerosol reduction using an air cleaning system during dental procedures.
ABSTRACT: 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: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.
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:INTRODUCTION:Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in patient-derived bioaerosol is a potential tool to measure source case infectiousness. However, current bioaerosol sampling approaches have reported low detection yields in sputum-positive TB cases. To increase the utility of bioaerosol sampling, we present advances in bioaerosol collection and Mtb identification that improve detection yields. METHODS:A previously described Respiratory Aerosol Sampling Chamber (RASC) protocol, or "RASC-1", was modified to incorporate liquid collection of bioaerosol using a high-flow wet-walled cyclone (RASC-2). Individuals with GeneXpert-positive pulmonary TB were sampled pre-treatment over 60-minutes. Putative Mtb bacilli were detected in collected fluid by fluorescence microscopy utilising DMN-Trehalose. Exhaled air and bioaerosol volumes were estimated using continuous CO2 monitoring and airborne particle counting, respectively. Mtb capture was calculated per exhaled air volume sampled and bioaerosol volume for RASC-1 (n = 35) and for RASC-2 (n = 21). Empty chamber samples were collected between patients as controls. RESULTS:The optimised RASC-2 protocol sampled a median of 258.4L (IQR: 226.9-273.6) of exhaled air per patient compared with 27.5L (IQR: 23.6-30.3) for RASC-1 (p<0.0001). Bioaerosol volume collection was estimated at 2.3nL (IQR: 1.1-3.6) for RASC-2 compared with 0.08nL (IQR: 0.05-0.10) for RASC-1 (p<0.0001). The detection yield of viable Mtb improved from 43% (median 2 CFU, range: 1-14) to 95% (median 20.5 DMN-Trehalose positive bacilli, range: 2-155). These improvements represent a lowering of the limit of detection in the RASC-2 platform to 0.9 Mtb bacilli per 100L of exhaled air from 3.3 Mtb bacilli per 100L (RASC-1). CONCLUSION:This study demonstrates that technical improvements in particle collection together with sensitive detection enable rapid quantitation of viable Mtb in bioaerosols of sputum positive TB cases. Increased sampling sensitivity may allow future TB transmission studies to be extended to sputum-negative and subclinical individuals, and suggests the potential utility of bioaerosol measurement for rapid intervention in other airborne infectious diseases.
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 a major concern for public health and sampling for exposure assessment purposes is challenging. The nasopharyngeal region could be a potent carrier of long-term bioaerosol exposure agents. This study aimed to evaluate the correlation between nasopharyngeal bacterial flora of swine workers and the swine barns bioaerosol biodiversity. Methods: Air samples from eight swine barns as well as nasopharyngeal swabs from pig workers (n = 25) and from a non-exposed control group (n = 29) were sequenced using 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing. Wastewater treatment plants were used as the industrial, low-dust, non-agricultural environment control to validate the microbial link between the bioaerosol content (air) and the nasopharynxes of workers. Results: A multivariate analysis showed air samples and nasopharyngeal flora of pig workers cluster together, compared to the non-exposed control group. The significance was confirmed with the PERMANOVA statistical test (p-value of 0.0001). Unlike the farm environment, nasopharynx samples from wastewater workers did not cluster with air samples from wastewater treatment plants. The difference in the microbial community of nasopharynx of swine workers and a control group suggest that swine workers are carriers of germs found in bioaerosols. Conclusion: Nasopharynx sampling and microbiota could be used as a proxy of air sampling for exposure assessment studies or for the determination of exposure markers in highly contaminated agricultural environments.
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: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:A limited number of studies have been conducted to analyze ribosomal RNA (rRNA, present in the ribosome) in bioaerosol samples to identify currently or potentially active airborne microbes, although its genomic counterpart, the rRNA gene (on the chromosome) has been frequently targeted for airborne microbial community analysis. A knowledge gap still exists regarding whether the bioaerosol rRNA abundances are affected by the bioaerosol collection process. We investigated the effect of air sampling stress on the measurement and characterization of 16S rRNA for bioaerosols in the laboratory and field experiments using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and high-throughput sequencing techniques. In a laboratory study, known quantities of freshly grown Escherichia coli cells were spiked onto the filter of a Button Aerosol Sampler and into liquids of BioSampler and SpinCon air samplers and then exposed to sampling stress when the samplers were operated for 2h. We found that the recovered cellular 16S rRNA abundance as determined by qPCR was dependent on sampler type. Further, two devices (Button Aerosol Sampler and BioSampler) that exhibited markedly different efficiency in preserving 16S rRNA were employed in an outdoor environment to collect bioaerosols simultaneously on eight days in two different seasons. The abundance of 16S rRNA in the outdoor air sample (1.3×106-4.9×107copies/m3) was about two orders of magnitude higher than that of 16S rRNA gene (6.9×103-1.5×105copies/m3). The 16S rRNA sequences revealed a different bacterial community compared with 16S rRNA gene-based results across all samples, and this difference depended on the sampling device. In addition, a number of bacterial taxa exhibited higher abundance in the 16S rRNA gene sequences than in 16S rRNA sequences, which suggests the potential activities of certain microbes in airborne phase. Overall, this study highlights the importance of sampling device selection when analyzing RNA in bioaerosols.
Project description:Research that investigates bioaerosol emissions from animal transport vehicles (ATVs) and their importance in the spread of harmful airborne agents while the ATVs travel on roads is limited. To investigate the dynamical behaviour of theoretically released particles from a moving ATV, the open-source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software OpenFOAM was used to calculate the external and internal air flow fields with passive and forced ventilated openings of a common ATV moving at a speed of 80 km/h. In addition to a computed flow rate of approximately 40,000 m3/h crossing the interior of the ATV, the visualization of the trajectories has demonstrated distinct patterns of the spatial distribution of potentially released bioaerosols in the vicinity of the ATV. Although the front openings show the highest air flow to the outside, the recirculations of air masses between the interior of the ATV and the atmosphere also occur, which complicate the emission and the dispersion characterizations. To specify the future emission rates of ATVs, a database of bioaerosol concentrations within the ATV is necessary in conjunction with high-performance computing resources to simulate the potential dispersion of bioaerosols in the environment.
Project description:Traffic junctions are one of the crowded places where commuters are at high risk of developing respiratory infections, due to their greater exposure to airborne and human transmitted microbial pathogens. An airborne bioaerosol assessment study was carried out at a high traffic density junction focusing on their concentration, contribution in respirable particulate matter (PM), and factors influencing the distribution and microbial diversity. Andersen six-stage viable cascade impactor and a wide-range aerosol spectrometer were used for microbial and particulate matter measurements, respectively. Statistical analysis was conducted to evaluate the relationship between bioaerosol concentration, vehicular count, PM concentration, and meteorological parameters. The mean bacteria concentration (1962.95?±?651.85 CFU/m3) was significantly different than fungi (1118.95?±?428.34 CFU/m3) (p?<?0.05). The temporal distribution showed maximum concentration for bacteria and fungi during monsoon and postmonsoon seasons, respectively. In terms of bioaerosol loading, a considerable fraction of fungi (3.25%) and bacteria (5.65%) contributed to the total airborne PM. Most abundant bioaerosols were Aspergillus (27.58%), Penicillium (23%), and Cladosporium (14.05%) (fungi), and Micrococcus (25.73%), Staphylococcus (17.98%), and Bacillus (13.8%) (bacteria). Traffic-induced roadside soil resuspension and microbial aerosolizations from the human body were identified as the chief sources of bioaerosol emissions. The risk of lower respiratory tract infections caused by anthroponotic (human transmitted) transfer of bacterial pathogens is very high. The results of the study can be used to trace sources of microbial mediated communicable diseases, and to recommend appropriate safety measures to avoid pathogenic bioaerosol exposure.