Bioaerosol assessment in indoor and outdoor environments: a case study from India

Sci Rep. 2023 Oct 23;13(1):18066. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-44315-z.


Exposure to bioaerosols has been associated with the occurrence of a variety of health impacts, including infectious illnesses, acute toxic effects, allergies, and cancer. This study aimed at evaluating airborne bacteria and fungi populations at different indoor and outdoor sites on a college campus in Bengaluru, India. Bioaerosol samples were collected using a two-stage Andersen air sampler; and isolates were identified using standard procedures. Six air samples and meteorological data were collected in March and April 2014 to examine the effects of temperature and relative humidity on bioaerosol concentration using linear regression modeling. Among all sites, the canteen showed the highest bioaerosol levels both indoors and outdoors. Specific bacterial identification was not possible, but gram staining and microscopic analysis helped to identify gram positive and gram negative bacteria. The most prevalent fungal species in the samples were Cladosporium, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium, Rhizopus, Fusarium, Mucor, and Alternaria. Due to the impact of weather conditions, such as temperature and relative humidity, the bioaerosol concentration varied greatly at each site according to the regression model. The indoor bioaerosol concentrations at all sites exceeded the values established by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (< 250 CFU/m3 for total fungi and < 500 CFU/m3 for total bacteria). Higher concentrations of bioaerosols may be attributed to the transportation of microbes from the ground surface to suspended particles, the release of microbes from the respiratory tract, higher rate of shredding of human skin cells, and many other factors.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis
  • Air Microbiology
  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / analysis
  • Alternaria
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / analysis
  • Bacteria
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Fungi*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Aerosols