Application of the real-time PCR for the detection of airborne microbial pathogens in reference to the anthrax spores

J Microbiol Methods. 2003 May;53(2):141-7. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7012(03)00019-8.


To establish the rapid detection method of airborne bacterial spores, we examined Bacillus anthracis spores by real-time PCR. One hundred liters of air were trapped on a filter of an air monitor device. After it was suspended in PBS, spores of B. anthracis were artificially added. The suspension was also heated at 95 degrees C for 15 min and used for real-time PCR using anthrax-specific primers. A single cell of B. anthracis was detected by real-time PCR within 1 h. Our results provide evidence that anthrax spores from the atmosphere can be detected rapidly, suggesting that real-time PCR provides a flexible and powerful tool to prevent epidemics.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Anthrax / microbiology*
  • Bacillus anthracis / growth & development
  • Bacillus anthracis / isolation & purification*
  • Bacillus anthracis / physiology*
  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Spores, Bacterial / growth & development
  • Spores, Bacterial / isolation & purification


  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial