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A two-stage personal cyclone sampler for the collection of fungal aerosols and direct ELISA and PCR sample analysis.

Schmechel-D; Lindsley-WG; Chen-TB; Blachere-FM; Green-BJ; Brundage-RA; Beezhold-DH
J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007 Jan; 119(1)(Suppl 1):S188
Rationale: Fungi are ubiquitous in indoor and outdoor environments and improved techniques are required to obtain accurate measures of exposure. Here we present a new two-stage personal cyclone sampler for the size-fractionated collection of bioaerosols that is compatible with PCR or immunoassay sample processing. Methods: A prototype of the sampler was designed and machined from aluminum: The performance of the sampler was characterized in a calm air settling chamber using experimentally aerosolized fluorescent microspheres and fungal spores of Aspergillus versicolor and Penicillium chrysogenum. The sampler collects fungal spores into two 1.5 ml Eppendorf tubes while fragments are collected on a back-up filter; samples are then characterized by counting, PCR and ELISA. Results: The sampler is approximately 68 mm wide and 97 mm tall and weighs 68 g. The first and second Eppendorf tubes have particle collection cut-off diameters of 2.6 microm and 1.6 microm at a flow rate of 2 l/min and 1.8 microm and 1 microm at 3.5 l/min, respectively. The aspiration efficiency is >98% at both flow rates for particles with aerodynamic diameters of les than or equal to 3.1 microm. At 3.5 l/min, the sampler collected around 92% of A. versicolor and P. chrysogenum spores inside the two Eppendorf tubes, with less than 0.4% of the spores collected on the filter. Conclusions: This sampler appears to efficiently collect fungal aerosols and separate fungal spores from fragments. The sampler is compatible with commercially-available sampling pumps and it provides personal aerosol samples that can be readily analyzed by immunoassay or PCR-based techniques.
Sampling; Sampling-equipment; Sampling-methods; Fungi; Microorganisms; Aerosol-sampling; Aerosols
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Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
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NIOSH Division
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Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology