Comparison of bioaerosol sampling methods in barns housing swine.

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Peer Reviewed


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Journal/Book/Conference Title

Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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The air in livestock buildings contains bioaerosol levels that are sufficiently high to cause adverse health effects in animals and workers. These bioaerosols are complex mixtures of live and dead microorganisms and their products as well as other aeroallergens. The effectiveness of sampling methods used for quantifying the very high concentrations of microorganisms in these environments has not been well studied. To facilitate an accurate assessment of respiratory hazards from viable organisms in agricultural environments, three bioaerosol sampling methods were investigated: the Andersen microbial sampler method (AMS), the all-glass impinger method (AGI), and the Nuclepore filtration-elution method (NFE). These methods were studied in a parallel fashion in 24 swine confinement buildings. Measurements were taken in two seasons with three types of culture media in duplicate to assess total bacteria, gram-negative enteric bacteria, and total fungi. Methods were analyzed for the proportion of samples yielding data within the limits of detection, intraclass reliability, and correlation between methods. For sampling viable bacteria, the AMS had a poor data yield because of overloading and demonstrated weak correlation with the AGI. Conversely, the AGI and NFE gave sufficient numbers of valid data points (90%), yielded high intraclass reliabilities (alpha greater than or equal to 0.92), and were highly correlated with each other (r = 0.86). The AGI and the NFE were suitable methods for assessing bacteria in this environment, but the AMS was not. The AMS was the only method that consistently recovered enteric bacteria (73% data yield). For sampling fungi, the AGI and AMS both yielded sufficient data and all three methods demonstrated high intraclass reliability.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Published Article/Book Citation

Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 58:8 (1992) pp.2543-2551.

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