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Environ Monit Assess. 2014 Apr;186(4):2111-20. doi: 10.1007/s10661-013-3521-8. Epub 2013 Nov 17.

Seasonal evaluation of bioaerosols from indoor air of residential apartments within the metropolitan area in South Korea.

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Department of Environmental Health, College of Health Science, Korea University, 1 Jeongneung-Dong, Sungbuk-Ku, Seoul, 136-703, South Korea,


The aims of the present study were to determine the levels of bioaerosols including airborne culturable bacteria (total suspended bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), and Gram-negative bacteria), fungi, endotoxin, and viruses (influenza A, influenza B, respiratory syncytial virus types A/B, parainfluenza virus types 1/2/3, metapnemovirus, and adenovirus) and their seasonal variations in indoor air of residential apartments. Of the total suspended bacteria cultured in an indoor environment, Staphylococcus was dominant and occupied 49.0 to 61.3% of indoor air. Among Staphylococcus, S. aureus were detected in 100% of households' indoor air ranging from 4 to 140 CFU/m(3), and 66% of households were positive for MRSA ranging from 2 to 80 CFU/m(3). Staphylococcus and S. aureus concentrations correlated with indoor temperature (adjusted β: 0.4440 and 0.403, p < 0.0001). Among respiratory viruses, adenovirus was detected in 14 (14%) samples and influenza A virus was detected in 3 (3%) samples regarding the indoor air of apartments. Adenovirus concentrations were generally higher in winter (mean concentration was 2,106 copies/m(3)) than in spring (mean concentration was 173 copies/m(3)), with concentrations ranging between 12 and 560 copies/m(3). Also, a strong negative correlation between adenovirus concentrations and relative humidity in indoor air was observed (r = -0.808, p < 0.01). Furthermore, temperature also negatively correlated with adenovirus concentrations (r = -0.559, p < 0.05).

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