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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jun;69(6):3103-9.

Characterization of the microbial community in indoor environments: a chemical-analytical approach.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology, Dermatology and Infection, University of Lund, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden.


An integrated procedure is presented whereby gas chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry is used to determine chemical markers of gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide (3-hydroxy fatty acids with 10 to 18 carbon atoms), gram-positive bacteria (branched-chain fatty acids with 15 and 17 carbon atoms), bacterial peptidoglycan (muramic acid), and fungal biomass (ergosterol) in samples of settled house dust. A hydrolysate of (13)C-labeled cyanobacterial cells is used as an internal standard for the first three markers. These analyses require two dust samples, one for 3-OH fatty acids, branched-chain fatty acids, and muramic acid and another for ergosterol. The method may be used to characterize microbial communities in environmental samples.

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