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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2020, 17,


Background: The monitoring of bioaerosol concentrations in the air is a relevant endeavor due to potential health risks associated with exposure to such particles and in the understanding of their role in climate. In this context, the atmospheric concentrations of bacteria were measured from January 2018 to May 2020 at Saclay, France. The aim of the study was to understand the seasonality, the daily variability, and to identify the geographical origin of airborne bacteria. Methods: 880 samples were collected daily on polycarbonate filters, extracted with purified water, and analyzed using the cultivable method and flow cytometry. A source receptor model was used to identify the origin of bacteria. Results: A tri-modal seasonality was identified with the highest concentrations early in spring and over the summer season with the lowest during the winter season. Extreme changes occurred daily due to rapid changes in meteorological conditions and shifts from clean air masses to polluted ones. Conclusion: Our work points toward bacterial concentrations originating from specific seasonal-geographical ecosystems. During pollution events, bacteria appear to rise from dense urban areas or are transported long distances from their sources. This key finding should drive future actions to better control the dispersion of potential pathogens in the air, like persistent microorganisms originating from contaminated areas.