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Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Vol. 12, Iss. 2, February 2015

Detection of Airborne Bacteria in a Duck Production Facility with Two Different Personal Air Sampling Devices for an Exposure Assessment


Prevalent airborne microorganisms are not well characterized in industrial animal production buildings with respect to their quantity or quality. To investigate the work-related microbial exposure, personal bioaerosol sampling during the whole working day is recommended. Therefore, bioaerosol sampling in a duck hatchery and a duck house with two personal air sampling devices, a filter-based PGP and a NIOSH particle size separator, was performed. Subsequent, quantitative and qualitative analyses were carried out with” culture independent methods. Total cell concentrations (TCC) determined via fluorescence microscopy showed no difference between the two devices. In average, 8 × 106 cells/m3 were determined in the air of the duck hatchery and 5 × 107 cells/m3 in the air of the duck house. A Generated Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) pattern revealed deviant bacterial compositions comparing samples collected with both devices. Clone library analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis from the hatchery's air showed 65% similarity between the two sampling devices. Detailed 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses showed the occurrence of bacterial species like Acinetobacter baumannii, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia sp., and Shigella sp.; and a group of Staphylococcus delphini, S. intermedius, and S. pseudintermediusthat provided the evidence of potential exposure to risk group 2 bacteria at the hatchery workplace. Size fractionated sampling with the developed by the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) device revealed that pathogenic bacteria would deposit in the inhalable, the thorax, and possibly alveolar dust fraction according to EN481. TCC analysis showed the deposition of bacterial cells in the third stage (< 1μm) at the NIOSH device which implies that bacteria can reach deep into the lungs and contaminate the alveolus after inhalation. Nevertheless, both personal sampling devices could be recommended for exposure assessment at agricultural workplaces.


16S rRNA gene sequence clone library, bacteria, bioaerosol, total cell concentration, workplace exposure

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