Monitoring of viable airborne SARS virus in ambient air
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Due to recent SARS related issues (Science 300 (5624) 1394; Nature 423 (2003) 240; Science 300 (5627) 1966), the development of reliable airborne virus monitoring procedures has become galvanized by an exceptional sense of urgency and is presently in a high demand (In: Cox, C.S., Wathers, C.M. (Eds.), Bioaerosols Handbook, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL, 1995, pp. 247-267). Based on engineering control method (Aerosol Science and Technology 31 (1999) 249; 35 (2001) 852), which was previously applied to the removal of particles from gas carriers, a new personal bioaerosol sampler has been developed. Contaminated air is bubbled through porous medium submerged into liquid and subsequently split into multitude of very small bubbles. The particulates are scavenged by these bubbles, and, thus, effectively removed. The current study explores its feasibility for monitoring of viable airborne SARS virus. It was found that the natural decay of such virus in the collection fluid was around 0.75 and 1.76 lg during 2 and 4 h of continuous operation, respectively. Theoretical microbial recovery rates of higher than 55 and 19% were calculated for 1 and 2 h of operation, respectively. Thus, the new sampling method of direct non-violent collection of viable airborne SARS virus into the appropriate liquid environment was found suitable for monitoring of such stress sensitive virus.
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY