Environmental biology

Comprehensive characterization of indoor airborne bacterial profile

P. L. Chan , P. H. F. Yu , Y. W. Cheng , C. Y. Chan , P. K. Wong


Received October 06, 2008,Revised January 13, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 1148-1152

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This is the first detailed characterization of the airborne bacterial profiles in indoor environments. Two restaurants were selected for this study. Fifteen genera of bacteria were isolated from each restaurant and identified by three di erent bacterial identification systems including MIDI, Biolog and Riboprinterr. The dominant bacteria of both restaurants were Gram-positive bacteria in which Micrococcus and Bacillus species were the most abundant. Most bacteria identified were representative species of skin and respiratory tract of human, and soil. Although the bacterial levels in these two restaurants were below the limit of the Hong Kong Indoor Air Quality Objective (HKIAQO) Level 1 standard (i.e., < 500 cfu/m3), the majority of these bacteria were opportunistic pathogens. These results suggested that the identity of airborne bacteria should also be included in the IAQ to ensure there is a safety guideline for the public.

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