Analysis of RNA Concentration of Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses from Dormitory Air Sampling
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No. of downloads: 24
Bueno de Mesquita, Jacob
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Making accurate exposure assessments of airborne disease transmission is an integral part of a proactive response to outbreak events and can help track the pathway of transmission. This study aimed to assess the use of the rebreathed air equation in a dorm room setting and compare the expected exposure provided by the equation with actual viral collection determined by sampling. The study involved quantifying viral aerosol levels in the dormitory rooms of college students infected with influenza and other respiratory infections. NIOSH bioaerosol samplers collected dorm room air overnight and the viral concentration from these samples were compared against the calculated exposure value provided by the rebreathed air equation informed by direct measurements of viral shedding rates from the infected dorm residents ascertained by the Gesundheit-II bioaerosol collector. This comparison was facilitated by the rebreathed-air equation. Air samples were collected from the dormitories of nineteen participants and three participants had influenza. No virus was detected in the NIOSH samples. Data obtained from GII collection on viral shedding was then used in the application of the rebreathed air equation to predict exposure and assess how close the estimate of viral particles was to the actual results. By sampling in the dormitories of students with acute respiratory infections, we can make exposure assessments for roommates of infected students and others living in the dorms with greater accuracy by comparing actual outcomes with theoretical estimates. This work also helps improve understanding of airborne pathogen transmission in dorms and other indoor environments. The outcome of this project and future research like this helps evaluate the use of the rebreathed-air equation in predicting exposure and transmission risk under the assumption of well-mixed air.
This was a two year long research project that was done as a supplement to the ongoing CATCH the Virus Study being conducted at the Public Health Aerobiology, Virology, and Exhaled Biomarker Laboratory at the School of Public Health.