Biological particulate matter or bioaerosol are a subset of atmospheric aerosol. They influence climate, air quality, and health via several mechanisms which often are poorly understood. In particular, the quantitative study of possible relationship between bioaerosol viability and air quality or meteorological conditions is an open and relevant issue. The difficulty of retrieving such possible correlations by analyses of data collected during in-field campaigns can benefit of targeted experiments conducted in well-controlled conditions inside atmospheric simulation chambers (ASCs). ChAMBRe (Chamber for Aerosol Modelling and Bio-aerosol Research) is an ASC in Genoa (Italy) designed and built to perform experimental research on bioaerosol. In this article, we focus on bacteria viability. A multi-step protocol was developed and thoroughly tested to cultivate a suitable bacteria population (E. coli), nebulize and inject in a chamber of viable cells, expose and monitor the viability variation inside ChAMBRe, hold at selected conditions, and finally incubate and count the concentration of viable bacteria. The whole procedure showed an estimated lifetime of total (T) and viable (V) E. coli of about 153 and 32min, respectively and a V:T lifetime ratio of 40±5min when ChAMBRe is held in a reference baseline condition. The coefficient of variation of 13% shows how sensitive the protocol is also to changes in viability when the bacteria are exposed to other (e.g. polluted) conditions. First results showing a viability reduction observed exposing the E. coli strain to NOx concentrations and solar irradiation are presented and discussed. The present results pave the way for systematic studies aimed at the definition of dose-effect relationship for several bacteria strains under different conditions of atmospheric pollutants.

Airborne bacteria viability and air quality: a protocol to quantitatively investigate the possible correlation by an atmospheric simulation chamber

Virginia Vernocchi;Elena Abd El;Marco Brunoldi;Silvia Giulia Danelli;Elena Gatta;Tommaso Isolabella;Federico Mazzei;Paolo Prati;Dario Massabo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Biological particulate matter or bioaerosol are a subset of atmospheric aerosol. They influence climate, air quality, and health via several mechanisms which often are poorly understood. In particular, the quantitative study of possible relationship between bioaerosol viability and air quality or meteorological conditions is an open and relevant issue. The difficulty of retrieving such possible correlations by analyses of data collected during in-field campaigns can benefit of targeted experiments conducted in well-controlled conditions inside atmospheric simulation chambers (ASCs). ChAMBRe (Chamber for Aerosol Modelling and Bio-aerosol Research) is an ASC in Genoa (Italy) designed and built to perform experimental research on bioaerosol. In this article, we focus on bacteria viability. A multi-step protocol was developed and thoroughly tested to cultivate a suitable bacteria population (E. coli), nebulize and inject in a chamber of viable cells, expose and monitor the viability variation inside ChAMBRe, hold at selected conditions, and finally incubate and count the concentration of viable bacteria. The whole procedure showed an estimated lifetime of total (T) and viable (V) E. coli of about 153 and 32min, respectively and a V:T lifetime ratio of 40±5min when ChAMBRe is held in a reference baseline condition. The coefficient of variation of 13% shows how sensitive the protocol is also to changes in viability when the bacteria are exposed to other (e.g. polluted) conditions. First results showing a viability reduction observed exposing the E. coli strain to NOx concentrations and solar irradiation are presented and discussed. The present results pave the way for systematic studies aimed at the definition of dose-effect relationship for several bacteria strains under different conditions of atmospheric pollutants.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1154558
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