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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2017 May;29(3):298-304. doi: 10.1177/1040638717700221. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Assessment of air sampling methods and size distribution of virus-laden aerosols in outbreaks in swine and poultry farms.

Alonso C1,2,3, Raynor PC1,2,3, Goyal S1,2,3, Olson BA1,2,3, Alba A1,2,3, Davies PR1,2,3, Torremorell M1,2,3.

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Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine (Alonso, Alba, Davies, Torremorell), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN.
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health (Raynor), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering (Olson), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN.


Swine and poultry viruses, such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), and highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), are economically important pathogens that can spread via aerosols. The reliability of methods for quantifying particle-associated viruses as well as the size distribution of aerosolized particles bearing these viruses under field conditions are not well documented. We compared the performance of 2 size-differentiating air samplers in disease outbreaks that occurred in swine and poultry facilities. Both air samplers allowed quantification of particles by size, and measured concentrations of PRRSV, PEDV, and HPAIV stratified by particle size both within and outside swine and poultry facilities. All 3 viruses were detectable in association with aerosolized particles. Proportions of positive sampling events were 69% for PEDV, 61% for HPAIV, and 8% for PRRSV. The highest virus concentrations were found with PEDV, followed by HPAIV and PRRSV. Both air collectors performed equally for the detection of total virus concentration. For all 3 viruses, higher numbers of RNA copies were associated with larger particles; however, a bimodal distribution of particles was observed in the case of PEDV and HPAIV.


Aerosols; air sampler; animal viruses; cascade impactor; disease transmission; particle size

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