Healthy schools: Standardisation of culturing methods for seeking airborne pathogens in bioaerosols emitted from human sources

Nikki D'Arcy, Melisa Canales, David A. Spratt, Ka Man LAI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Schools are one of the critical social infrastructures in a society, and children are particularly at risk of lung damage and infection caused by poor air quality. The issue of healthy schools is a global concern. In this paper, we highlight the importance of airborne transmission of microorganisms in schools and the impact on children's health and wider economic and social implications. We propose the concept of air hygiene; measuring and assessing the level of bioaerosols emitted from human sources (primarily respiratory) can serve as a guide to indicate overall air quality, associated with airborne infections. Current bioaerosol sampling in schools (if carried out) is based on the use of Trypticase Soy Agar that can indicate environmental sources of bioaerosols. We suggest that a more appropriate agar could be used for bioaerosols of human origin. It is critical to develop and standardise a simple and economic method that can be used in a range of schools and environments even if resources are limited to monitor the air hygiene. The use of blood agar and different samplings methods are reviewed, and the most appropriate method is proposed for further testing and validation in order to develop a global standard method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalAerobiologia
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioaerosol
  • Blood agar
  • Monitoring
  • Schools

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