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ISSN: 2157-2526

Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense
Open Access

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Research Article

Transfer and Reaerosolization of Biological Contaminant following Field Technician Servicing of an Aerosol Sampler

Richard J. Byers1*, Steven R. Medley2, Michael L. Dickens1, Kent C. Hofacre1, Melanie A. Samsonow1 and Monique L. van Hoek2

1Battelle Memorial Institute, 505 King Ave, Columbus, OH 43201, USA

2George Mason University, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Richard J. Byers
Battelle Memorial Institute, 505 King Ave
Columbus, OH 43201, USA
Tel: 614-424-7296
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: December 01, 2012; Accepted Date: February 01, 2013; Published Date: February 05, 2013

Citation: Byers RJ, Medley SR, Dickens M, Hofacre K, Samsonow M, et al. (2013) Transfer and Reaerosolization of Biological Contaminant following Field Technicia Servicing of an Aerosol Sampler. J Bioterr Biodef S3:011. doi: 10.4172/2157-2526.S3-011

Copyright: © 2013 Byers RJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Over the last several years, aerosol samplers have been fielded in many locations to collect biological agents in the air, providing a sample that, once analyzed, will alert safety and public health officials of potential bioterrorism events. If a biological agent was present at the sampling location, the collector and surrounding area may be contaminated due to bioaerosol deposition, possibly posing a hazard to the technician maintaining the aerosol sampler. The technician may, in turn, serve as a source for cross-contamination to clean areas subsequently visited, potentially producing a hazard to others if transferred to indoor settings, such as a job site or analysis laboratory. To investigate our hypothesis about these potential exposure sources and cross-contamination, a study was performed to: (1) examine biological material transfer from a contaminated site to an individual; and (2) determine aerosol resuspension levels due to typical personnel activity at a contaminated, paved bioaerosol sampling site. Analysis of air samples indicated reaerosolization of spore-containing particles upon disturbance of a contaminated site by a field technician, and analysis of swatches taken from the technician’s clothing indicated substantial transfer of spores. These results provide insight into sources of cross-contamination and potential steps to mitigate consequences of infectious contaminant transfer, and also demonstrate potential exposure hazards for technicians servicing fielded bioaerosol collectors.

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