Using uranine as a physical tracer, this study assessed the sampling efficiencies of four bioaerosol samplers (Andersen 6-stage impactor, all glass impinger “AGI-30,” OMNI-3000, and Airport MD8 with gelatin filter) for collecting Gram-positive bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis), Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Campylobacter jejuni), and bacteria without cell wall (Mycoplasma synoviae) which were aerosolized in a HEPA isolator. In addition, the half-life times of these bacteria in aerosols were estimated. The uranine concentrations collected by the samplers were used for calculating the physical efficiencies, and the bacteria/uranine ratios were used for calculating the biological efficiencies. The results show the Airport MD8 had the highest physical efficiency. Compared with the Airport MD8, the physical efficiencies of the AGI-30 and the OMNI-3000 were 74% and 49%, respectively. A low physical efficiency of the Andersen impactor (18%) was obtained, but it was mainly caused by the incomplete recovery of uranine when handling the air samples, so could not be ascribed to the sampler efficiency. Both the Andersen impactor and the AGI-30 showed high biological efficiencies for all four bacterial species. The biological efficiencies of the OMNI-3000 for C. jejuni (1%) and of the Airport MD8 for E. coli (38%) and C. jejuni (2%) were significantly lower than 100%, indicating that their sampling stresses inactivated the bacterial culturability. The half-life times at 21-23°C temperature and 80-85% relative humidity were 43.3 min for E. faecalis, 26.7 min for M. synoviae, 21.2 min for E. coli, and 4.0 min for C. jejuni in the air.
- airborne survival