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Detection of airborne rhinovirus and its relation to outdoor air supply in office environments.
Myatt TA; Johnston SL; Zuo Z; Wand M; Kebadze T; Rudnick S; Milton DK
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004 Jun; 169(11):1187-1190
Rhinoviruses are major causes of morbidity in patients with respiratory diseases; however, their modes of transmission are controversial. We investigated detection of airborne rhinovirus in office environments by polymerase chain reaction technology and related detection to outdoor air supply rates. We sampled air from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. each workday, with each sample run for 1 work week. We directly extracted RNA from the filters for nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis of rhinovirus. Nasal lavage samples from building occupants with upper respiratory infections were also collected. Indoor carbon dioxide (CO2 concentrations were recorded every 10 minutes as a surrogate for outdoor air supply. To increase the range of CO2 concentrations, we adjusted the outdoor air supply rates every 3 months. Generalized additive models demonstrated an association between the probability of detecting airborne rhinovirus and a weekly average CO2 concentration greater than approximately 100 ppm, after controlling for covariates. In addition, one rhinovirus from a nasal lavage contained an identical nucleic acid sequence similar to that in the building air collected during the same week. These results suggest that occupants in buildings with low outdoor air supply may have an increased risk of exposure to infectious droplet nuclei emanating from a fellow building occupant.
Respiratory-infections; Respiratory-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Aerosols; Aerosol-sampling; Air-sampling; Pulmonary-system-disorders
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-6021
Issue of Publication
Work Environment and Workforce: Indoor Environment
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division