Investigation of the presence of airborne microorganisms (bioaerosols) in the ambient air is of interest due to their environmental and human health effects. In the past few years, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) has gained popularity in bioaerosol research due to its capacity to rapidly quantify and identify microorganisms in air samples. However, there are indications that air sampling may lead to the loss of structural integrity of bacteria thus affecting the ability of qPCR to provide accurate and reliable data. in addition, stable and reliable bioaerosol generation is another important element of bioaerosol research. While there have been advances in the development of bioaerosol generators, there is still a need for bioaerosol generators which produce high bioaerosol concentrations with minimal effects on microorganism culturability and structural integrity and are easy to operate. Any potential bioaerosol damage occurring during aerosolization would be transferred to collected bioaerosol samples. Thus, it is important to investigate the effects of aerosolization on bioaerosols, including potential effects on their membrane integrity.Thus this research proposes a two-prong effort to improve our ability to detect and measure airborne biological agents: 1) by investigating the effect of sampling on the integrity of biological particles and, as a result, our ability to detect and quantify biological particles; and 2) to investigate the performance of common and new bioaerosol generators on the viability and integrity of bioaerosols and application of those generators in bioaerosol studies.
|Effective start/end date||2/1/14 → 1/31/19|