Seasonal Variation in Airborne Microbial Concentrations and Diversity at Landfill, Urban and Rural Sites

University of Kuopio, Department of Environmental Sciences, KUOPIO, Finland.
CLEAN - Soil Air Water (Impact Factor: 1.84). 07/2008; 36(7):556 - 563. DOI: 10.1002/clen.200700179

ABSTRACT Microbes are present everywhere in outdoor air. However, the general characterization of outdoor air mycobiota and bacterial flora is incomplete. In this study, seasonal variations in outdoor air microbial concentrations and differences between a landfill, urban and rural sites were compared. Samples were collected monthly for a period of one year. Airborne dust samples were collected onto polyvinyl chloride filters. Filter samples were analyzed for ergosterol, and 14 species or assay groups of fungi and for the bacterial genus Streptomyces by using quantitative PCR. Viable bacteria and fungi were collected with a cascade impactor twice each month from the three sampling sites. The concentrations in the different sampling sites varied depending on the species. The concentrations of Penicillium and Aspergillus species were significantly higher in the waste center compared with the other sites, while the concentration of Cladosporium spp. was highest in the rural area. The highest concentrations of Streptomyces and Cladosporium species were observed in warmer weather periods. Similar observations were made for ergosterol. Group and species seasonal variation was less distinct for Penicillium and Aspergillus. According to the present results, both season and environment are determinants of microbial communities in outdoor air.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Ambient air particulate matter (PM) is increasingly considered to be a causal factor evoking severe adverse health effects. People spend the majority of their time indoors, which should be taken into account especially in future risk assessments, when the role of outdoor air particles transported into indoor air is considered. Therefore, there is an urgent need for characterization of possible sources seasonally for harmful health outcomes both indoors and outdoors.Methods In this study, we collected size-segregated (PM10¿2.5, PM2.5¿0.2) particulate samples with a high volume cascade impactor (HVCI) simultaneously both indoors and outdoors of a new single family detached house at four different seasons. The chemical composition of the samples was analyzed as was the presence of microbes. Mouse macrophages were exposed to PM samples for 24 hours. Thereafter, the levels of the proinflammatory cytokines, NO-production, cytotoxicity and changes in the cell cycle were investigated. The putative sources of the most toxic groups of constituents were resolved by using the principal component analysis (PCA) and pairwise dependencies of the variables were detected with Spearman correlation.ResultsSource-related toxicological responses clearly varied according to season. The role of outdoor sources in indoor air quality was significant only in the warm seasons and the significance of outdoor microbes was also larger in the indoor air. During wintertime, the role of indoor sources of the particles was more significant, as was also the case for microbes. With respect to the outdoor sources, soil-derived particles during a road dust episode and local wood combustion in wintertime were the most important factors inducing toxicological responses.Conclusions Even though there were clear seasonal differences in the abilities of indoor and outdoor air to induce inflammatory and cytotoxic responses, there were relatively small differences in the chemical composition of the particles responsible of those effects. Outdoor sources have only a limited effect on indoor air quality in a newly built house with a modern ventilation system at least in a low air pollution environment. The most important sources for adverse health related toxicological effects were related to soil-derived constituents, local combustion emissions and microbes.
    Particle and Fibre Toxicology 11/2014; 11(1):60. DOI:10.1186/s12989-014-0060-6 · 6.99 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hundreds of different cheeses are produced in France, where 23.9kg of cheese were consumed per inhabitant in 2009, when it was ranked the second cheese-consuming nation. To meet this considerable demand, a large number of cheese factories exist where many workers, especially cheese washers, may be exposed to fungal bioaerosols that can lead to adverse toxinic and allergic effects. Airborne bacteria, fragments, or microbial by-products (endotoxins) are also found and contribute to total worker exposure. However, there is almost no published data concerning worker exposure or characteristics of bioaerosols emitted during these activities. Here, we measured the parameters (concentrations, species present, and size distribution) of the culturable fungal bioaerosol emitted in a French natural-rind cheese-maturing cellar. Concentrations of airborne bacteria and endotoxins were also measured. The main tasks were investigated using stationary or personal sampling over three consecutive days. Depending on the work area, high concentrations of culturable mesophilic microorganisms were measured (using closed-face cassettes): from 10(4) to 2×10(8) CFU m(-3) for fungi and from 10(3) to 10(6) CFU m(-3) for bacteria. These concentrations are 10- to 100000-fold higher than those measured at two reference points (indoor and outdoor) that are assumed not to be contaminated by the plant's activities. Endotoxin concentrations were between 10 and 300 EU m(-3) in the plant. Exposure was further assessed by identifying the predominant culturable fungi (allergenic Mucor fuscus and Penicillium sp.) and by measuring particle size distributions (cascade impactor). Airborne fungal entities (spores, mycelium strands and fragments, agglomerates, etc.) were found with aerodynamic diameters from 3 to over 20 µm. A metrological approach was used to fully characterize the culturable fungal aerosols generated during cheese maturing in this plant. The results show that workers are exposed to concentrations of airborne culturable fungi, sometimes very high, throughout the manufacturing process. In addition to fungi, culturable bacteria and endotoxins are also present in the work atmosphere. All these microbial organisms thus contribute in a complex manner to total worker exposure. Despite the lack of both occupational exposure limit values and standardized measuring methods, our results suggest that an immunological risk may occur among workers, especially for cheese brushers, cheese washers, and packagers who are the most exposed workers in the factory.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 05/2014; 58(6):677-692. DOI:10.1093/annhyg/meu027 · 2.07 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Experiments were conducted to study the airborne microbial contamination generated by a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Aerosol samples were collected simultaneously, by sedimentation and impact methods, from the area and the surroundings of the WWTP. Total colony forming units (CFUs) of heterotrophic bacteria (HPC), as well as members of the Enterobacteriaceae, staphylococci, enterococci, actinomycetes, and microscopic fungi were determined. Bacterial (HPC) concentrations ranged between 101 and 104 CFU/m3, fungi 0 and 104 CFU/m3. Higher numbers of HPC bacteria in air samples were observed in summer, fungi in autumn. The main emission of microorganisms to atmospheric air was from the mechanical sewage treatment devices of the WWTP. The facilities of the biological sewage treatment of the plant did not generate large amounts of bioaerosols. In the air obtained from the premises of the WWTP, 25 species of the Enterobacteriaceae were isolated (Salmonella spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli). At the fence and in the surroundings only Pantoea spp. were identified. This suggests that the sewage bacteria were mainly discharged in the area of the WWTP. The presence of enteric bacteria, especially Enterobacteriaceae reflects the level of air pollution with bioaerosols from sewage and is an important factor during monitoring the quality of the air around WWTPs.
    CLEAN - Soil Air Water 05/2013; 41(5):429 - 436. DOI:10.1002/clen.201100466 · 1.84 Impact Factor