Sampling method comparison of enterococci aerosolization during continuous bubble bursting generation

Peter J. Sahwell, Afeefa Abdool-Ghany, James Klaus, Cassandra J. Gaston, Helena M. Solo-Gabriele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the water-to-air transfer and viability of the fecal indicator bacteria, enterococci, and compared capture performance of an impactor and aerosol filter. Results show that concentration of viable enterococci collected by the impactor (70.1 colony-forming units [CFU]/L) was lower than that using the filter (171.2 CFU/L) at 95% significance. Between the impactor and filter, coefficients of variation equaled 13% and 14%, respectively. Hence, for the collection of aerosolized enterococci in a controlled environment, use of the aerosol filter yielded significantly higher recovery relative to impaction, though equally variable data were collected by both methods. This work confirms that viable enterococci transfer across a simulated air-sea interface and that aerosol filters perform well in capturing viable bacteria. Results from this study are relevant to studies that measure environmentally generated aerosols such as those that occur via wave breaking from sewage-contaminated waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfnac003
JournalFEMS microbiology letters
Issue number21-24
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • aerosol
  • bioaerosol
  • enterococci
  • filtration
  • impaction
  • pathogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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