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Can J Microbiol. 2001 Apr;47(4):341-7.

Detection of Legionella pneumophila in bioaerosols by polymerase chain reaction.

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LABAQUA, Alicante, Spain.


Most studies focusing on detecting microorganisms in air by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have used a liquid impinger to sample bioaerosols, mainly because a liquid sample is easy to be processed by PCR analysis. Nevertheless, the use of multiple-hole impactors for the analysis of bioaerosols by PCR has not been reported despite its great utility in culture analysis. In this study we have modified the impaction onto an agar surface sampling method to impaction onto a liquid medium using the MAS-100 air sampler (Merck) (single-stage multiple-hole impactor). To evaluate the recovery of airborne microorganisms of both sampling methods, a suspension containing Escherichia coli was artificially aerosolized and bioaerosols were collected onto Tergitol-7 agar and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) with the MAS-100. A linear regression analysis of the results showed a strong positive correlation between both sampling methods (r = 0.99, slope 0.99, and y intercept 0.07). Afterwards, the method of impingement into a liquid medium was used to study airborne Legionella pneumophila by PCR. A total of 64 samples were taken at a wastewater treatment plant, a chemical plant, and an office building and analyzed by culture and PCR. Results showed that three samples were positive both by PCR and plate culture, and that nine samples negative by plate culture were positive by PCR, proving that L. pneumophila was present in bioaerosols from these three different environments. The results demonstrate the utility of this single-stage multiple-hole impactor for sampling bioaerosols, both by culture and by PCR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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