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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: High Efficiency Electrostatic Sampler for Bioaerosols

Authors
item Mitchell, Bailey
item GAST, RICHARD

Submitted to: Agricultural Safety and Health American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 10, 2004
Publication Date: May 1, 2005
Citation: Mitchell, B.W., Gast, R.K. 2005. High efficiency electrostatic sampler for bioaerosols. Agricultural Safety and Health American Society of Agricultural Engineers.

Interpretive Summary: Detection of disease causing organisms in poultry housing areas is typically done by labor intensive methods such as swabbing of environmental surfaces or sampling directly from birds. It is generally agreed that detection of potential disease problems could by done by air sampling with highly efficient samplers capable of sampling relatively high volumes of air, but existing samplers with these characteristics are too expensive for common use, and they tend to be difficult to disinfect. A low-cost, simple, portable electrostatic sampling device (ESD) was developed for high efficiency sampling of airborne microorganisms. The battery operated ESD has no moving parts, and all but the batteries are enclosed in a waterproof enclosure such that disinfection can be accomplished easily with a spray disinfectant. The ESD sampling effectiveness was tested for bacteria and compared to that of standard settling plates and an impaction air sampler and found to be as much as 20 times more effective than settling plates and better than the impaction sampler. The ESD has also been shown to be effective for recovering Salmonella enteritidis in caged layer rooms and for recovering plant virus samples for rapid PCR identification. Since the ESD utilizes a generic technology, it could easily be applied to any area where high efficiency and high volume air sampling for microorganisms is needed such as routine monitoring of poultry and livestock, processing areas, hospitals, schools, etc.

Technical Abstract: It is well known that anytime there are birds infected with pathogenic organisms in a poultry area, these microorganisms are shed in some way and most of them can be recovered from room surfaces or from the air. A high efficiency, portable electrostatic sampling device (ESD) was designed for recovering low levels of bioaerosols in poultry spaces. The ESD creates a strong electrostatic field close to a grounded media plate causing bioaerosols within a few inches of the device to be charged and pulled onto the media giving the effect of a medium volume air sampler without the need for a mechanical fan. The ESD sampling effectiveness for airborne bacteria was tested in the lab and at a poultry house exhaust outlet and compared to that of standard settling plates and an impaction air sampler and found to be as much as 20 times more effective than settling plates and better than the impaction sampler. The ESD has also been shown to be very effective for recovering Salmonella enteritidis in caged layer rooms. Since the ESD utilizes a generic technology, it could easily be applied to any area where high efficiency and high volume air sampling for bioaerosols is needed.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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