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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 Oct;17(10):1622-8.

Removal of Serratia marcescens aerosols using an electrostatic precipitator.

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Department of Environmental Health, Institute for Health and Environment, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


We characterized the efficacy of an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) air-cleaner in reducing the concentration of Serratia marcescens in an enclosed space. We used an experimental room (4.5 x 3 x 2.9 m) in which electrostatic aircleaners were located. Two air-cleaners enhanced the equivalent ventilation rates in the chamber by about 3.3 air changes per hour (ACH) over the 2 ACH provided by the mechanical ventilation system. Natural die-off of the organisms provided an additional equivalent of 3 ACH, so that the total ventilation rate with the ESP air-cleaners was 8.3 ACH. We also examined whether the ESP air-cleaners altered the deposition of Serratia marcescens aerosols on the experimental room surfaces. We did not find any significant differences in the number of colony forming units recovered from surfaces with and without the air-cleaners. We installed UV lights inside the ESPs and determined if UV light, in addition to electrical fields, increased the efficacy of the ESPs. The presence of UV light inside the ESP reduced S. marcescens aerosols by approximately 2 ACH. Finally, a box model indicates that the efficiency of the air-cleaner increases for both biological and nonbiological particles at ventilation rates of 0.2-1, which are typical for residential settings.

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