About Us

Aerobiological Engineering is a website about healthy indoor environments, how to design them, how to remediate them, and how to build them. Information and links are provided here to assist engineers, biologists, scientists, researchers, and laypersons in making educated decisions about solving indoor aerobiological problems and controlling airborne diseases.

Airborne Diseases

Airborne diseases affect everyone and are a daily threat in home and work environments. Allergens, mold spores, mycotoxins, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and other bioaerosols collectively impact human health.

Engineered Solutions

Many solutions to indoor aerobiological problems are available today, including air filtration, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), ozone, pulsed light, ionization, passive solar exposure, and other new technologies.

Problem investigation

Investigation of the source of particular aerobiological problems is the first step towards solving the problem. This may involve inspection of facilities, air sampling, surface sampling, or epidemiological surveys.

Ultraviolet Genomic Modeling

genome

Ultraviolet genomic modeling is a method by which the ultraviolet sensitivity of microorganisms can be determined through evaluation of the complete microbial genome. Certain specific nucleic acid sequences have a high potential for dimerization under UV exposure, including the pyrimidine base doublets thymine-thymine (TT), thymine-cytosine (TC), cytosine-cytosine (CC). Purines flanked by pyrimidine doublets, of which there are eight, are also susceptible to dimerization. The dimerization of these sequences is also influenced by the surrounding bases and the permutations yield over one hundred sequences with varying dimerization potential. Base counting software is used to identify these sequences and the results are quantified as new bioinformatics parameters with genome-wide applications. A mathematical algorithm is used to compute a relative index of UV sensitivity for each microbe. Correlation of the genomic model with known ultraviolet susceptibilities of over 160 microbes has resulted in a general model that can be used to predict the UV sensitivities of bacteria, RNA viruses and DNA viruses based on their complete genomes. Since current UV bioassays are estimated to have an error range of +/-30%, the genomic model may form a benchmark by which the accuracy of bioassay testing may be gauged. An extensive list of predicted UV sensitivities is presented for microbes that do not currently have published UV susceptibilities, including many nosocomial and zoonotic pathogens and bioweapon agents. The model may also be used to interpret the effects of relative humidity on microbial susceptibility to UV exposure. Other applications of the model are discussed including the use of the genomic model to assess the survival of microbes in an airstream or water stream via PCR technology, since the model can predict the survival percentage based on DNA damage alone.