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Continuous Surveillance of Bioaerosols On-Site Using an Automated Bioaerosol-Monitoring System

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posted on 17.01.2020, 15:36 by Yu Sung Cho, Hye Ri Kim, Hyun Sik Ko, Sang Bin Jeong, Byoung Chan Kim, Jae Hee Jung
Real-time on-site monitoring of bioaerosols in an air environment is important for preventing various adverse health effects including respiratory diseases and allergies caused by bioaerosols. Here, we report the development of an on-site automated bioaerosol-monitoring system (ABMS) using integrated units including a wet-cyclone bioaerosol sampler, a thermal-lysis unit for extracting adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an ATP-detection unit based on the immobilization of luciferase/luciferin for bioluminescence reactions, and a photomultiplier tube-based detector. The performance of the bioaerosol detection system was verified using Escherichia coli (E. coli) as a model source. Each unit was optimized to process ∼9.6 × 105 times the concentrated ratio of collected bioaerosol samples, using a 3 min lysis time to extract ATP, and has a detection limit of ∼375 colony-forming units (CFUs)/mL with more than 30 days of stability for the immobilized-luciferase/luciferin detection unit supported by a glass-fiber conjugation pad. After the integration of all units, the ABMS achieved E. coli bioaerosol monitoring with continuous detection at 5 min intervals and a minimum detection limit of ∼130 CFU/mair3. Furthermore, the rapid responsivity and stable operation performance of the ABMS under test-bed conditions and during a field test demonstrated that the ABMS is capable of continuously monitoring bioaerosols in real-time with high sensitivity. The monitoring system developed here with immobilization strategies for bioluminescence reactions triggered by ATP extracted from collected bioaerosol samples using a simple heat-lysis method may help establish sustainable platforms to obtain stable signals for the real-time detection of bioaerosols on-site.