What is it about?

The microbial content of the biological airborne particles (i.e. bioaerosols) has become of increasing interest due to the potential pathogenic and allergenic nature of airborne micro-organisms. The aim of this study was to explore the bioaerosol microbiome in the Athens underground railway system (Greece), based on a sampling campaign conducted in a naturally ventilated subway station, using culture-independent molecular methods.

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Why is it important?

Public transit systems are widely regarded as ideal environments for the spread of infectious microbial agents through the air. Monitoring the microbiological air quality in public transport micro-environments, such as confined and heavily occupied subway stations, is of major public heath importance. This study provides the first microbial characterisation of PM10 (i.e. airborne particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm) in the Athens Metro, beyond the typical physicochemical aerosol determination, by presenting a description of the aerosol bacterial and fungal composition in a subway station platform based on high throughput sequencing. Results presented here contribute to the growing body of the microbiome exploration in public transportation systems, which play a critical role in airborne transmission of infectious micro-organisms.

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This page is a summary of: Bioaerosols in the Athens Metro: Metagenetic insights into the PM10 microbiome in a naturally ventilated subway station, Environment International, January 2021, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.106186.
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