Biological Particles in the Indoor Environment
Airborne microorganisms are very difficult to assess accurately under field conditions owing to differences in the sample collection efficiency of the selected sampler and variations in DNA extraction efficiencies. Consequently, bioaerosol abundance and biodiversity can be underestimated, making it more difficult to link specific bioaerosol components to diseases and human health risk. Owing to the low biomass in air samples, it remains a challenge to obtain a representative microbiological sample to recover sufficient DNA for downstream analyses. Improved sampling methods are particularly crucial, especially for investigating viral communities, owing to the extremely low biomass of viral particles in the air compared with other environments. Without detailed information about sampling, characterization and enumeration techniques, interpretation of exposure level is very difficult. Despite this, bioaerosol research has been enhanced by molecular tools, especially next-generation sequencing approaches that have allowed faster and more detailed characterization of air samples.