Survey of airborne bacterial genus at a university campus

Daniel W.T. Chan, Hang Mei Polly Leung, Cinnie S.Y. Tam, A. P. Jones

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor airborne bacterial concentrations were measured at different locations in a university campus in Hong Kong where there was a Mechanical Ventilation and Air-conditioning (MVAC) system. Total bacterial counts were enumerated for both indoor and outdoor areas at specific time intervals. Information on temperature, relative humidity, number of occupants, and carbon dioxide levels were recorded simultaneously. Those parameters were correlated with total bacterial counts and each identifiable genus. Although, the number of genera for Gram-negative bacteria was higher than Gram-positive bacteria, the most abundant airborne genera found were Gram-positive bacteria especially Micrococcus and Staphylococcus. The indoor-to-outdoor ratios for the two predominant Gram-positive genera were greater than one, indicating that the source of the bacteria was indoors. There was a correlation between total bacterial counts with temperature, but the correlation was not significant. Pseudomonas had a correlation with relative humidity, but the correlation was not significant. The study also found that the total bacterial counts and a few genera including Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas, had a strong correlation with ventilation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-466
Number of pages7
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


  • Airborne bacteria
  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • Indoor air quality
  • Micrococcus
  • Staphylococcus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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