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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 302--312

Bio-aerosols in indoor environment: Composition, health effects and analysis

Padma Srikanth1, Suchithra Sudharsanam1, Ralf Steinberg2 
1 Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu-600 116, India
2 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu-600 116, India

Correspondence Address:
Padma Srikanth
Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu-600 116
India

Bio-aerosols are airborne particles that are living (bacteria, viruses and fungi) or originate from living organisms. Their presence in air is the result of dispersal from a site of colonization or growth. The health effects of bio-aerosols including infectious diseases, acute toxic effects, allergies and cancer coupled with the threat of bioterrorism and SARS have led to increased awareness on the importance of bio-aerosols. The evaluation of bio-aerosols includes use of variety of methods for sampling depending on the concentration of microorganisms expected. There have been problems in developing standard sampling methods, in proving a causal relationship and in establishing threshold limit values for exposures due to the complexity of composition of bio-aerosols, variations in human response to their exposure and difficulties in recovering microorganisms. Currently bio-aerosol monitoring in hospitals is carried out for epidemiological investigation of nosocomial infectious diseases, research into airborne microorganism spread and control, monitoring biohazardous procedures and use as a quality control measure. In India there is little awareness regarding the quality of indoor air, mould contamination in indoor environments, potential source for transmission of nosocomial infections in health care facilities. There is an urgent need to undertake study of indoor air, to generate baseline data and explore the link to nosocomial infections. This article is a review on composition, sources, modes of transmission, health effects and sampling methods used for evaluation of bio-aerosols, and also suggests control measures to reduce the loads of bio-aerosols.

How to cite this article:
Srikanth P, Sudharsanam S, Steinberg R. Bio-aerosols in indoor environment: Composition, health effects and analysis.Indian J Med Microbiol 2008;26:302-312

How to cite this URL:
Srikanth P, Sudharsanam S, Steinberg R. Bio-aerosols in indoor environment: Composition, health effects and analysis. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2021 Jan 17 ];26:302-312
Available from: https://www.ijmm.org/article.asp?issn=0255-0857;year=2008;volume=26;issue=4;spage=302;epage=312;aulast=Srikanth;type=0