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Seasonality in airborne bacterial, fungal, and (1→3)-β-D-glucan concentrations in two indoor laboratory animal rooms
  1. Sungho Hwang1,
  2. Yeji Ko2,
  3. Donguk Park3,
  4. Chungsik Yoon4,5
  1. 1 National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Ilsan, Korea
  2. 2 Korea Workers’ Compensation & Welfare Service, Seoul, Korea
  3. 3 Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Ulsan, Korea
  4. 4 Institute of Health and Environment, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  5. 5 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  1. Correspondence to Prof Chungsik Yoon, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, 1, Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea; csyoon{at}


Aims The purpose of this study was to assess the temporal changes in the concentrations of bioaerosols in a laboratory mouse room (LMR) and laboratory rabbit room (LRR), and to determine environmental factors associated with the culturable bacteria, fungi and (1→3)-β-D-glucan concentrations.

Method The concentrations of culturable airborne bacteria, fungi and (1→3)-β-D-glucan in the LMR and LRR were sampled once a month from March 2011 to February 2012. A single-stage viable cascade impactor was used to sample bacteria and fungi, while a two-stage cyclone bioaerosol sampler was used to collect airborne (1→3)-β-D-glucan.

Results The culturable bacterial concentrations in the LMR showed a gradual increase during the summer. The culturable fungal concentrations showed similar seasonal patterns of change in the LMR and LRR with a noticeable increase during the summer. The (1→3)-β-D-glucan concentrations were highest during the warmer spring and summer months. Relative humidity (RH) was the environmental factor most associated with the concentrations of culturable bacteria and fungi. The overall airborne microbe concentrations were significantly higher in the LRR than in the LMR.

Conclusions Airborne microbe concentrations in the LMR and LRR varied greatly depending on season, and these changes were affected by environmental factors.

  • Toxicology
  • Animal pathology
  • Bacteriology

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  • Handling editor Tahir S Pillay.

  • Funding This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Programme through the National Research Foundation of Korean (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2015R1C1A1A02037363).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with ’BMJ Publishing Group'. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references.