air microbiology


Summary: The presence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the air. This term is not restricted to pathogenic organisms.

Top Publications

  1. Bowers R, Sullivan A, Costello E, Collett J, Knight R, Fierer N. Sources of bacteria in outdoor air across cities in the midwestern United States. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011;77:6350-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Airborne bacteria are clearly an important, but understudied, component of air quality that needs to be better integrated into efforts to measure and model pollutants in the atmosphere. ..
  2. Andersson A, Bergh I, Karlsson J, Eriksson B, Nilsson K. Traffic flow in the operating room: an explorative and descriptive study on air quality during orthopedic trauma implant surgery. Am J Infect Control. 2012;40:750-5 pubmed publisher
    ..001). Traffic flow has a strong negative impact on the OR environment. The results of this study support interventions aimed at preventing surgical site infections by reducing traffic flow in the OR. ..
  3. Yamamoto N, Bibby K, Qian J, Hospodsky D, Rismani Yazdi H, Nazaroff W, et al. Particle-size distributions and seasonal diversity of allergenic and pathogenic fungi in outdoor air. ISME J. 2012;6:1801-11 pubmed publisher
  4. Qian J, Hospodsky D, Yamamoto N, Nazaroff W, Peccia J. Size-resolved emission rates of airborne bacteria and fungi in an occupied classroom. Indoor Air. 2012;22:339-51 pubmed publisher
  5. Frankel M, Beko G, Timm M, Gustavsen S, Hansen E, Madsen A. Seasonal variations of indoor microbial exposures and their relation to temperature, relative humidity, and air exchange rate. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012;78:8289-97 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, the season significantly affects indoor microbial exposures, which are influenced by temperature, relative humidity, and air exchange rates. ..
  6. Madsen A, Matthiesen C, Frederiksen M, Frederiksen M, Frankel M, Spilak M, et al. Sampling, extraction and measurement of bacteria, endotoxin, fungi and inflammatory potential of settling indoor dust. J Environ Monit. 2012;14:3230-9 pubmed publisher
  7. Vesper S, Barnes C, Ciaccio C, Johanns A, Kennedy K, Murphy J, et al. Higher Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) values measured in homes of asthmatic children in Boston, Kansas City, and San Diego. J Asthma. 2013;50:155-61 pubmed publisher
    ..High ERMI values were associated with homes of asthmatic children in three widely dispersed cities in the United States. ..
  8. Adams R, Miletto M, Taylor J, Bruns T. Dispersal in microbes: fungi in indoor air are dominated by outdoor air and show dispersal limitation at short distances. ISME J. 2013;7:1262-73 pubmed publisher
  9. Robinson M, Stilianakis N, Drossinos Y. Spatial dynamics of airborne infectious diseases. J Theor Biol. 2012;297:116-26 pubmed publisher
    ..A threshold air velocity is derived, above which disease transmission is impaired even when the basic reproduction number R(0) exceeds unity. ..

More Information


  1. Yamaguchi N, Ichijo T, Sakotani A, Baba T, Nasu M. Global dispersion of bacterial cells on Asian dust. Sci Rep. 2012;2:525 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results confirm that bacteria can attach to aeolian dust particles and they have the potential to migrate globally during dust events and thus can contribute to the diversity of downwind ecosystems. ..
  2. Napoli C, Tafuri S, Montenegro L, Cassano M, Notarnicola A, Lattarulo S, et al. Air sampling methods to evaluate microbial contamination in operating theatres: results of a comparative study in an orthopaedics department. J Hosp Infect. 2012;80:128-32 pubmed publisher
    ..This method was more sensitive than the IMA method and was not subject to any calibration bias, unlike active air monitoring systems. ..
  3. Herfst S, Schrauwen E, Linster M, Chutinimitkul S, de Wit E, Munster V, et al. Airborne transmission of influenza A/H5N1 virus between ferrets. Science. 2012;336:1534-41 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, avian A/H5N1 influenza viruses can acquire the capacity for airborne transmission between mammals without recombination in an intermediate host and therefore constitute a risk for human pandemic influenza. ..
  4. Usachev E, Agranovski I. Internally controlled PCR system for detection of airborne microorganisms. J Environ Monit. 2012;14:1631-7 pubmed publisher
    ..It is concluded that the recombinant phage fd is suitable for utilization as an internal control enabling to significantly minimize false negative results for bioaerosol detection procedures. ..
  5. Conza L, Casati S, Gaia V. Detection limits of Legionella pneumophila in environmental samples after co-culture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga. BMC Microbiol. 2013;13:49 pubmed publisher
    ..pneumophila. Direct culturing and co-culture with amoebae were used in parallel to isolate L. pneumophila and recovery standard curves for both methods were produced for each sample...
  6. Pasquarella C, Vitali P, Saccani E, Manotti P, Boccuni C, Ugolotti M, et al. Microbial air monitoring in operating theatres: experience at the University Hospital of Parma. J Hosp Infect. 2012;81:50-7 pubmed publisher
    ..001). Microbiological monitoring is a useful tool for assessment of the contamination of operating theatres in order to improve air quality. ..
  7. Dybwad M, Granum P, Bruheim P, Blatny J. Characterization of airborne bacteria at an underground subway station. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012;78:1917-29 pubmed publisher
  8. Zhen H, Han T, Fennell D, Mainelis G. Release of free DNA by membrane-impaired bacterial aerosols due to aerosolization and air sampling. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013;79:7780-9 pubmed publisher
    ..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. ..
  9. Noti J, Lindsley W, Blachere F, Cao G, Kashon M, Thewlis R, et al. Detection of infectious influenza virus in cough aerosols generated in a simulated patient examination room. Clin Infect Dis. 2012;54:1569-77 pubmed publisher
    ..The results indicate that a poorly fitted respirator performs no better than a loosely fitting mask. ..
  10. Russell C, Fonville J, Brown A, Burke D, Smith D, James S, et al. The potential for respiratory droplet-transmissible A/H5N1 influenza virus to evolve in a mammalian host. Science. 2012;336:1541-7 pubmed publisher
    ..These results highlight critical areas in which more data are needed for assessing, and potentially averting, this threat...
  11. Meng J, Barnes C, Rosenwasser L. Identity of the fungal species present in the homes of asthmatic children. Clin Exp Allergy. 2012;42:1448-58 pubmed publisher
    ..Since many allergens have been identified in these fungal species, identifying and controlling these fungal species in asthmatic homes might be expected to improve asthma care and benefit asthmatic children. ..
  12. Huttunen K, Rintala H, Hirvonen M, Vepsäläinen A, Hyvarinen A, Meklin T, et al. Indoor air particles and bioaerosols before and after renovation of moisture-damaged buildings: the effect on biological activity and microbial flora. Environ Res. 2008;107:291-8 pubmed publisher
    ..This may be associated with different spectrum of harmful agents in different mold and moisture-damaged buildings. ..
  13. Dee S, Otake S, Oliveira S, Deen J. Evidence of long distance airborne transport of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. Vet Res. 2009;40:39 pubmed publisher
    ..All 6 of the M. hyopneumoniae-positive samples were 99.9% homologous to M. hyopneumoniae 232. These results support the hypothesis that long distance airborne transport of these important swine pathogens can occur...
  14. Li Y, Leung G, Tang J, Yang X, Chao C, Lin J, et al. Role of ventilation in airborne transmission of infectious agents in the built environment - a multidisciplinary systematic review. Indoor Air. 2007;17:2-18 pubmed
    ..Our study reveals a strong need for a multidisciplinary study in investigating disease outbreaks, and the impact of indoor air environments on the spread of airborne infectious diseases. ..
  15. Dong S, Yao M. Exposure assessment in Beijing, China: biological agents, ultrafine particles, and lead. Environ Monit Assess. 2010;170:331-43 pubmed publisher
    ..And the results here suggested that when characterizing exposure both airborne and dust-borne as well as the environments should be considered. ..
  16. Weaver L, Michels H, Keevil C. Potential for preventing spread of fungi in air-conditioning systems constructed using copper instead of aluminium. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2010;50:18-23 pubmed publisher
    ..As copper has been previously suggested as an antimicrobial surface, we tested the effectiveness of copper as an antifungal surface which could be used in air-conditioning systems as an alternative to aluminium...
  17. Diab Elschahawi M, Berger J, Blacky A, Kimberger O, Oguz R, Kuelpmann R, et al. Impact of different-sized laminar air flow versus no laminar air flow on bacterial counts in the operating room during orthopedic surgery. Am J Infect Control. 2011;39:e25-9 pubmed publisher
    ..In view of the limited number of procedures studied, our findings require confirmation and further investigations on the ideal, but affordable, size of LAF ventilation systems. ..
  18. Wan G, Chung F, Tang C. Long-term surveillance of air quality in medical center operating rooms. Am J Infect Control. 2011;39:302-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The IAQ in the ORs varied significantly from month to month. The number of persons in the OR affected IAQ, and a decreased PM level might indicate reduced microbial contamination in the OR. ..
  19. Womack A, Bohannan B, Green J. Biodiversity and biogeography of the atmosphere. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010;365:3645-53 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss the possibility of a more unified understanding of the biosphere, one that links knowledge about biodiversity and biogeography in the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. ..
  20. Hospodsky D, Yamamoto N, Peccia J. Accuracy, precision, and method detection limits of quantitative PCR for airborne bacteria and fungi. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010;76:7004-12 pubmed publisher
    ..e., nonquantifiable) values for true aerosol concentrations that may be significant. ..
  21. SCHAFER J, Jäckel U, Kampfer P. Analysis of Actinobacteria from mould-colonized water damaged building material. Syst Appl Microbiol. 2010;33:260-8 pubmed publisher
  22. Myatt T, Kaufman M, Allen J, MacIntosh D, Fabian M, McDevitt J. Modeling the airborne survival of influenza virus in a residential setting: the impacts of home humidification. Environ Health. 2010;9:55 pubmed publisher
    ..8-13.9% reductions in influenza virus survival. This modeling analysis demonstrates the potential benefit of portable residential humidifiers in reducing the survival of aerosolized influenza virus by controlling humidity indoors. ..
  23. Hansen V, Winding A, Madsen A. Exposure to bioaerosols during the growth season of tomatoes in an organic greenhouse using Supresivit (Trichoderma harzianum) and Mycostop (Streptomyces griseoviridis). Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010;76:5874-81 pubmed publisher
    ..The collected data indicate that MPCAs applied by drip irrigation do not become airborne later in the season. ..
  24. Kim K, Kim Y, Kim D. Distribution characteristics of airborne bacteria and fungi in the general hospitals of Korea. Ind Health. 2010;48:236-43 pubmed
    ..30%), Penicillium spp. (20-25%), Aspergillus spp. (15-20%), and Alternaria spp. (10-20%). The detection rate was generally highest on stage 5 (1.1-2.1 microm) for airborne bacteria and on stage 1 (>7.0 microm) for airborne fungi. ..
  25. Cho J, Deen J, Dee S. Influence of isolate pathogenicity on the aerosol transmission of Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Can J Vet Res. 2007;71:23-7 pubmed
    ..04. We detected PRRSV MN-184 RNA but not PRRSV MN-30100 RNA in air samples by PCR. Under the conditions of this study, PRRSV isolate pathogenicity may influence aerosol transmission of the virus. ..
  26. Escombe A, Oeser C, Gilman R, Navincopa M, Ticona E, Pan W, et al. Natural ventilation for the prevention of airborne contagion. PLoS Med. 2007;4:e68 pubmed
    ..In settings where respiratory isolation is difficult and climate permits, windows and doors should be opened to reduce the risk of airborne contagion. ..
  27. Meklin T, Reponen T, McKinstry C, Cho S, Grinshpun S, Nevalainen A, et al. Comparison of mold concentrations quantified by MSQPCR in indoor and outdoor air sampled simultaneously. Sci Total Environ. 2007;382:130-4 pubmed
    ..5). These results suggest that interpretation of the meaning of short-term (<48 h) mold measurements in indoor and outdoor air samples must be made with caution. ..
  28. Vesper S, McKinstry C, Haugland R, Wymer L, Bradham K, Ashley P, et al. Development of an Environmental Relative Moldiness index for US homes. J Occup Environ Med. 2007;49:829-33 pubmed
    ..The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index scale may be useful for home mold-burden estimates in epidemiological studies. ..
  29. Blatny J, Reif B, Skogan G, Andreassen O, Høiby E, Ask E, et al. Tracking airborne Legionella and Legionella pneumophila at a biological treatment plant. Environ Sci Technol. 2008;42:7360-7 pubmed
    ..pneumophila, which then can be transported by the wind to the surroundings. The methods used in this study may be generically applied to trace biological aerosols that may pose a challenge to environmental occupational health. ..
  30. Srikanth P, Sudharsanam S, Steinberg R. Bio-aerosols in indoor environment: composition, health effects and analysis. Indian J Med Microbiol. 2008;26:302-12 pubmed
    ..This article is a review on composition, sources, modes of transmission, health effects and sampling methods used for evaluation of bio-aerosols, and also suggests control measures to reduce the loads of bio-aerosols. ..
  31. Pitkin A, Deen J, Dee S. Use of a production region model to assess the airborne spread of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Vet Microbiol. 2009;136:1-7 pubmed publisher
  32. Fabian P, McDevitt J, Houseman E, Milton D. Airborne influenza virus detection with four aerosol samplers using molecular and infectivity assays: considerations for a new infectious virus aerosol sampler. Indoor Air. 2009;19:433-41 pubmed publisher
    ..As a first step in designing a new air sampler to collect influenza virus we evaluated four commercial samplers and determined necessary design parameters for a new collector. ..
  33. Tellier R. Aerosol transmission of influenza A virus: a review of new studies. J R Soc Interface. 2009;6 Suppl 6:S783-90 pubmed publisher
    ..These recent results and their implication for infection control of influenza are discussed in this review. ..
  34. Pearce D, Hughes K, Lachlan Cope T, Harangozo S, Jones A. Biodiversity of air-borne microorganisms at Halley Station, Antarctica. Extremophiles. 2010;14:145-59 pubmed publisher
    ..The detected aerial microorganisms were markedly different from those obtained in earlier studies over the Antarctic Peninsula in the maritime Antarctic. ..
  35. Antova T, Pattenden S, Brunekreef B, Heinrich J, Rudnai P, Forastiere F, et al. Exposure to indoor mould and children's respiratory health in the PATY study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2008;62:708-14 pubmed publisher
    ..In this collaboration, researchers from 12 cross-sectional studies pooled their data to assess the effects of air quality on a spectrum of children's respiratory disorders...
  36. Brodie E, DeSantis T, Parker J, Zubietta I, Piceno Y, Andersen G. Urban aerosols harbor diverse and dynamic bacterial populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104:299-304 pubmed
    ..Finally, using multivariate regression techniques, we demonstrate that temporal and meteorological influences can be stronger factors than location in shaping the biological composition of the air we breathe. ..
  37. Fang Z, Ouyang Z, Zheng H, Wang X, Hu L. Culturable airborne bacteria in outdoor environments in Beijing,China. Microb Ecol. 2007;54:487-96 pubmed
    ..The bacterial species with a high concentration percentage included Micrococcus luteus and Micrococcus roseus. ..
  38. Rudnick S, First M. Fundamental factors affecting upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation - part II. Predicting effectiveness. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2007;4:352-62 pubmed
    ..In addition, reductions in viable microorganism concentration due to UVGI predicted from a two-box model are compared with experimental measurements. ..
  39. Karvala K, Toskala E, Luukkonen R, Lappalainen S, Uitti J, Nordman H. New-onset adult asthma in relation to damp and moldy workplaces. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2010;83:855-65 pubmed publisher
    ..Only 58% of the patients had returned to work. Exposure to damp and moldy workplaces can induce new-onset adult asthma. IgE mediation is a rare mechanism, whereas other mechanisms are unknown. ..
  40. Lindsley W, Blachere F, Thewlis R, Vishnu A, Davis K, Cao G, et al. Measurements of airborne influenza virus in aerosol particles from human coughs. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e15100 pubmed publisher
    ..Further research is needed on the viability of airborne influenza viruses and the risk of transmission. ..
  41. Stocks G, Self S, Thompson B, Adame X, O Connor D. Predicting bacterial populations based on airborne particulates: a study performed in nonlaminar flow operating rooms during joint arthroplasty surgery. Am J Infect Control. 2010;38:199-204 pubmed publisher
    ..Particle and CFU density increased with longer surgery duration and higher staff counts. These findings support the use of environmental controls that isolate and protect the surgical site from airborne particulates and contamination. ..
  42. Rizzetto R, Mansi A, Panatto D, Rizzitelli E, Tinteri C, Sasso T, et al. Silver zeolite antimicrobial activity in aluminium heating, ventilation and air conditioning system ducts. J Prev Med Hyg. 2008;49:26-33 pubmed
    ..This innovation could prove particularly advantageous in the event of accidents during the installation of air-conditioning systems or of contaminated aerosols coming from outside. ..
  43. Teunis P, Brienen N, Kretzschmar M. High infectivity and pathogenicity of influenza A virus via aerosol and droplet transmission. Epidemics. 2010;2:215-22 pubmed publisher
    ..More studies are needed to clarify the role of different modes of transmission in other settings. ..
  44. Madsen A, Hansen V, Nielsen S, Olsen T. Exposure to dust and endotoxin of employees in cucumber and tomato nurseries. Ann Occup Hyg. 2009;53:129-38 pubmed publisher
    ..The dust and endotoxin aerosolized during the working processes were only transported to other areas in the greenhouses to a very low degree. Cucumber and tomato leaves were identified as endotoxin reservoirs. ..
  45. Yao M, Zhang X, Gao J, Chai T, Miao Z, Ma W, et al. The occurrence and transmission characteristics of airborne H9N2 avian influenza virus. Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2011;124:136-41 pubmed
    ..Antibodies were initially detected at 4-5 dpi, peaking at 14-21 dpi. The results showed that H9N2 AIV could be transmitted by both aerosol exposure and direct contact. ..
  46. Pearce D, Bridge P, Hughes K, Sattler B, Psenner R, Russell N. Microorganisms in the atmosphere over Antarctica. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2009;69:143-57 pubmed publisher
    ..In this review, we examine the behaviour of microorganisms in the Antarctic aerial environment and the extent to which these microorganisms might influence Antarctic microbial biodiversity. ..
  47. Yang W, Marr L. Dynamics of airborne influenza A viruses indoors and dependence on humidity. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e21481 pubmed publisher
    ..Maintaining a high indoor RH and ventilation rate may help reduce chances of IAV infection. ..
  48. Pasquarella C, Albertini R, Dall aglio P, Saccani E, Sansebastiano G, Signorelli C. [Air microbial sampling: the state of the art]. Ig Sanita Pubbl. 2008;64:79-120 pubmed
  49. Dutil S, Meriaux A, de Latremoille M, Lazure L, Barbeau J, Duchaine C. Measurement of airborne bacteria and endotoxin generated during dental cleaning. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2009;6:121-30 pubmed publisher
    ..The small diameter of the aerosols generated (< 1 microm) suggests that the risk of contact between the aerosolized bacteria and the respiratory system of exposed individuals is likely to occur. ..
  50. First M, Rudnick S, Banahan K, Vincent R, Brickner P. Fundamental factors affecting upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation - part I. Experimental. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2007;4:321-31 pubmed
    ..A conclusion of the study is that an upper-room ultraviolet installation is a complex system that requires careful integration of UV luminaires, UV power, and room ventilation arrangements. ..
  51. Otake S, Dee S, CORZO C, Oliveira S, Deen J. Long-distance airborne transport of infectious PRRSV and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae from a swine population infected with multiple viral variants. Vet Microbiol. 2010;145:198-208 pubmed publisher
    ..5, 6.8 and 9.2km from the herd) were infectious. These results indicate that airborne transport of PRRSV 1-8-4 and M hyo 232 occurs over longer distances than previously reported and that both pathogens remained infectious. ..
  52. Jurgensen C, Madsen A. Exposure to the airborne mould Botrytis and its health effects. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2009;16:183-96 pubmed
    ..Thus, B. cinerea is as important as the more prevalent mould genera Cladosporium and Alternaria and we suggest that it should be included in standard allergic tests panels. ..
  53. Cho J, Dee S, Deen J, Trincado C, Fano E, Jiang Y, et al. The impact of animal age, bacterial coinfection, and isolate pathogenicity on the shedding of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in aerosols from experimentally infected pigs. Can J Vet Res. 2006;70:297-301 pubmed
    ..However, inoculation with the PRRSV MN-184 isolate significantly increased the probability of aerosol shedding (P = 0.00005; odds ratio = 3.22). Therefore, the shedding of PRRSV in aerosols may be isolate-dependent. ..