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TitleBioaerosol Sampler Choice Should Consider Efficiency and Ability of Samplers to Cover Microbial Diversity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMbareche, Hamza, Marc Veillette, Guillaume J. Bilodeau, and Caroline Duchaine
JournalAppl Environ Microbiol
Date Published2018 Sep 14

Bioaerosol studies tend to describe the microbial content and understand the aerosolization processes linked to diseases. Air samplers are used to collect, identify and quantify bioaerosols. Studies comparing the performance of air samplers have typically used a culture approach or have targeted a specific microorganism in laboratory settings. The objective of this study was to use environmental field samples to compare the efficiency of 3 high airflow rate samplers for describing bioaerosol diversity using a next-generation sequencing approach. Two liquid cyclonic impactors and one electrostatic filter dry sampler were used in four wastewater treatment plants to target bacterial diversity and in five dairy farms to target fungal diversity. The dry electrostatic sampler was consistently more powerful in collecting more fungal and bacterial OTUs. Substantial differences in OTU abundance between liquid and dry sampling were revealed. The majority of the diversity revealed by dry electrostatic sampling was not identified using the cyclonic liquid impactors. The findings on this work suggest that the choice of a bioaerosol sampler should include information about the efficiency and ability of samplers to cover microbial diversity. Although these results suggest that electrostatic filters result in better coverage of the microbial diversity amongst the tested air samplers, further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. While it is difficult to determine a single universally optimal air sampler, this work provides an in-depth look at some of the considerations that are essential when choosing an air sampler for studying the microbial ecology of bioaerosols. Associating bioaerosol exposure and health problems is challenging and adequate exposure monitoring is a priority for scientist in the field. Conclusions that can be drawn from bioaerosol exposure studies are highly dependent on the design of the study and the methodologies used. The air sampling strategy is the first methodological step leading to an accurate interpretation of what is present in the air. Applying new molecular approaches to evaluate the efficiency of the different types of samplers used in the field is a necessary work around the traditional approaches and the biases they introduce to such studies. The results and conclusions provided in this manuscript should be taken in considerations when conducting a bioaerosol study.

Alternate JournalAppl. Environ. Microbiol.
PubMed ID30217848