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The airborne microbiome - implications for aerosol transmission and infection control

Edited by Julian Tang, University Hospitals Of Leicester NHS Trust, UK & Yuguo Li, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Many infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, whooping cough, Aspergillus and other fungal infections, human and avian influenza, measles, chickenpox, and some of the emerging viruses, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) can be potentially spread through aerosol transmission. 

With the advent of deep-sequencing technologies these can be applied to environmental air samples using metagenomic techniques to characterise the presence and variety of airborne pathogens in the everyday air that we breathe in different environments (hospitals, clinics, homes, offices, entertainment venues, public transport - buses, trains, planes, etc.).

This series aims to explore and characterise the airborne microbiome in different environments, using different methods, in order to understand and assess the risk that such airborne pathogens may pose to both vulnerable and otherwise healthy individuals, and explore possible interventions to control their transmission.

  1. In recent years, studies on the diagnostic accuracy of in-house real-time PCR (hRT-PCR) assay for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) have been reported with unignorable discrepancies. To assess the...

    Authors: Zhenhong Wei, Xiaoping Zhang, Chaojun Wei, Liang Yao, Yonghong Li, Xiaojing Zhang, Hui Xu, Yanjuan Jia, Rui Guo, Yu Wu, Kehu Yang and Xiaoling Gao
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2019 19:701
  2. Antimicrobial resistance continues to outpace the development of new chemotherapeutics. Novel pathogens continue to evolve and emerge. Public health innovation has the potential to open a new front in the war ...

    Authors: David S. Thaler, Michael G. Head and Andrew Horsley
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2019 19:120
  3. Although short-range large-droplet transmission is possible for most respiratory infectious agents, deciding on whether the same agent is also airborne has a potentially huge impact on the types (and costs) of...

    Authors: Raymond Tellier, Yuguo Li, Benjamin J. Cowling and Julian W. Tang
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2019 19:101
  4. TB transmission in healthcare facilities is an important public health problem, especially in the often-overcrowded settings of HIV treatment scale-up. The problem is compounded by the emergence of drug resist...

    Authors: A. Roderick Escombe, Eduardo Ticona, Víctor Chávez-Pérez, Manuel Espinoza and David A. J. Moore
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2019 19:88
  5. The human respiratory tract represents the major portal of entry for numerous microorganisms, primarily those occurring as airborne particles such as viral and bacterial entities, or fungal spores. Microorgani...

    Authors: Giovanna Elisiana Carpagnano, Antonia Susca, Giulia Scioscia, Donato Lacedonia, Grazia Cotugno, Piera Soccio, Sonia Santamaria, Onofrio Resta, Giuseppe Logrieco and Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2019 19:78
  6. Excess water in all its forms (moisture, dampness, hidden water) in buildings negatively impacts occupant health but is hard to reliably detect and quantify. Recent advances in through-wall imaging recommend m...

    Authors: Andrew Horsley and David S. Thaler
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2019 19:67
  7. Every year around 4 million people with tuberculosis (TB) are not detected. Thus may not get the medical care that they need and deserve from their respective health systems. Ethiopia is included in the 12 cou...

    Authors: Dawit Assefa, Feleke Belachew, Getachew Wondimagegn and Eveline Klinkenberg
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2019 19:60