A potentially very interesting master’s thesis has just shown up in my weekly automated searches of Google Scholar: OhioLINK ETD: Lindelof, Kara.
The work is titled “Contribution of Biosolids-derived Bioaerosols to the Airborne Microbial Population” and it is by Kara Lidelof at the University of Toledo. And it is available for free (they say Open Access but I am not sure whether this meets the formal definition of Open Access which involves more than just being freely available – regardless – it is free which is good). Definitely worth a look. I have included the abstract here:
Land-application of biosolids is an important means of disposal with possible benefits for soil quality. Bioaerosols might be generated from the application of biosolids and the possible human health risk of pathogenic microorganisms contained in bioaerosols has become an increasingly important issue. Microbial evidence thus far has suggested human health risks are minimal during application of biosolids; however epidemiological studies have reported increased numbers of infection in residents living near biosolids application. Previous studies have focused on the quantification of aerosolized bacteria and the presence of indicator species, while the currenty study uses a DNA-based method to detect alterations to the genetic composition of the aerosolized community following biosolids application. The current study collected soil and aerosol samples from a field site receiving land-applied Class B biosolids. Samples were collected prior to application and over the course of a ten week period following application. Analysis of the data suggested densities of bacteria in aerosol samples did not increase following the application of biosolids. A DNA-based community approach was utilized to investigate the composition of the communities. No change in the community composition was observed after the application of biosolids. Biosolids did not significantly contribute to the airborne population of bacteria in the current study.
Note, I have added this to the Mendeley “Microbiology of the Built Environment” reference collection.