At a glance
In RAMBIE we are mainly concerned with bioaerosols. Bioaerosols refer to particulate matter of biological origin, such as pollen, fungal spores, bacterial cells, viruses, etc. They are ubiquitous in the environment and important properties characterising bioaerosols are size, viability, infectivity, allergenicity, toxicity, and pharmacological activity. For a bioaerosol to be infectious or pathogenic, it must be viable. However, non-viable bioaerosols can still cause allergies or toxic reactions.
The impact of bioaerosol emissions from locations with elevated levels of biological material such as waste water treatment plants or biowaste facilities, are a concern on local air quality due to negative impacts on human/animal health (respiratory diseases, infections, allergies) and as a consequence, in the economy too. Therefore, rapid bioaerosol detection is an urgent requirement for citizens and the military.
This project aims to develop novel techniques for the rapid and responsive wide-area real-time monitoring of bioaerosols across urban, agricultural and industrial environments. The project will produce a database of microbial volatile organic markers for the rapid characterisation of bioaerosols from different sources linking specific organic markers to identified microorganisms by DNA sequencing. The project will also provide a better understanding of the impact of bioaerosols from different sources on human exposure.