Assessment of bioaerosol generation and sampling efficiency based on pantoea agglomerans

Ana M. Rule, Kellogg J. Schwab, Jana Kesavan, Timothy J. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of aerosol generation, relative humidity, and method of sampling on the culturability of the vegetative bacteria Pantoea agglomerans (P. agglomerans) formerly known as Erwinia herbicola. This research has relevance both for the use of this organism as a biowarfare simulant and for bioaerosol exposure assessment and public health. The culturability of P. agglomerans was tested using a test chamber against two generating systems (Collison and Bubble nebulizers), two sampling systems (the all-glass impinger (AGI-30), and the BioSampler), three collection media (water, TSB, and PBS) and across a range of humidities. Results indicated that the Bubble nebulizer was 15% more efficient in generating viable P. agglomerans counts (p 0.05). No difference was observed in overall efficiency between sampling methods (p 0.05). However, as a collection media, PBS was observed to yield higher (p 0.01) viable counts compared to sterile deionized water. Relative humidity was found to strongly influence airborne P. agglomerans culturability. Culturable P. agglomerans was below the limit of detection for RH 15% and then increased in a log-linear fashion to humidities of 75%. This research will help identify optimal means for evaluation of environmentally sensitive airborne bacteria for purposes of exposure assessment and public health as well as homeland security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-628
Number of pages9
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution

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