Using a Bioaerosol Personal Sampler in combination with Real-time PCR Analysis for Rapid Detection of Airborne Viruses
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We have recently developed a new personal sampler and demonstrated its feasibility for detection of viable airborne microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and viruses. To accelerate the time-consuming analytical procedure involving 2-5 days of biological testing, we employed a real-time PCR protocol in conjunction with the personal sampler for collection of airborne viruses. The advantage of this approach is that if the presence of a particular pathogen in the air is detected by the PCR, the remaining collecting liquid can be further analysed by more time-consuming biological methods to estimate the number of airborne infectious/live microorganisms. As sampling of bioaerosols in natural environments is likely to be associated with substantial contamination by a range of microorganisms commonly existing in an ambient air, an investigation of the specificity of detection by targeted PCR analysis is required. Here we present the results of the study on the detection of Influenza virus in the ambient air contaminated with high concentrations of bacteria and fungi using real-time PCR protocol. The combined sampling PCR detection method was found to be fully feasible for the rapid (~2.5 h) and highly specific (no cross-reactivity) identification of the labile airborne virus in the air containing elevated concentrations of other microorganisms.