Detection of Aspergillus Fumigatus in Composting Facilities With QPCR Analysis - Bertin Instruments

Pollution and Environment

Detection of Aspergillus Fumigatus in Composting Facilities With QPCR Analysis

Sources: National Physical Laboratory, UK

Context

Composting and other sites known to produce bioaerosol species are currently monitored by traditional microbiological techniques, which are time consuming and sometimes not adapted to such high concentration. The overall aim of this study was to propose and test a new real-time monitoring network to quantify the emissions of potentially harmful biological species in the immediate vicinity of composting sites [1].

This study focused on the detection of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus considered as an indicator organism. In addition, it presents a potential health risk to certain high-risk individuals. The bioaerosols sampling was done with Coriolis® air sampler on site, at the boundary fence of the composting site (SP1, SP5) and outside the boundary fence (SP2, SP3, SP4; respectively at 70 m, 375 m, 300 m distance from perimeter). Samples were analyzed with a genetic-based assay (quantitative PCR) for A. fumigatus which is sufficiently sensitive to detect the presence of one spore per sample, thus improving monitoring efficiency. Other samples were collected in parallel with a conventional microbiological methodology (impaction) for comparison

Results

The research found that the new genetic-based assay associated with Coriolis® sampling gives a higher reading of bioaerosol level than conventional microbiological approach, which was expected because it measures both viable and non-viable A. fumigatus spores.  The assay is extremely sensitive.

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