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Keywords:

  • Bioaerosols;
  • Indoor air;
  • Respirable fraction;
  • Rural environment;
  • Urban dwellings

Abstract

The aim of this study was to characterize the microbial contamination of the air in farmhouses (defined as residential buildings on farms) on the basis of volumetric (using a six-stage Andersen impactor) measurements of bacterial and fungal aerosols. The microbial air quality (including both the total concentration of bioaerosols and their respirable fractions) in farmhouses was collated with the bacterial and fungal air contamination in urban dwellings. In comparison with the urban dwellings, the air in the farmhouses was characterized by significantly higher concentrations of culturable bacteria and fungi. However, respirable microorganisms in the farmhouses constituted the smaller fraction of all culturable bacteria and fungi. The results indicate that the microbial air quality in the farmhouses was most likely affected by the presence of farm buildings, which acted as additional bioaerosol emission sources. The smaller respirable bioaerosol fraction observed in the farmhouses could be explained by the indirect transfer of bacteria and fungi on workers' clothing and bodies from farm buildings to the habitable environments.