The effect of environmental parameters on the survival of airborne infectious agents

J R Soc Interface. 2009 Dec 6;6 Suppl 6(Suppl 6):S737-46. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2009.0227.focus. Epub 2009 Sep 22.


The successful transmission of infection via the airborne route relies on several factors, including the survival of the airborne pathogen in the environment as it travels between susceptible hosts. This review summarizes the various environmental factors (particularly temperature and relative humidity) that may affect the airborne survival of viruses, bacteria and fungi, with the aim of highlighting specific aspects of environmental control that may eventually enhance the aerosol or airborne infection control of infectious disease transmission within hospitals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Air Microbiology*
  • Air Pollutants
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Bacterial Infections / transmission
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious*
  • Environment
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Mycoses / prevention & control
  • Mycoses / transmission
  • Temperature
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control
  • Virus Diseases / transmission


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants