Technical note: concentration and composition of airborne aerobic bacteria inside an enclosed rabbit shed

S. Li, M.Y. Li, T. Mu, Z.M. Miao


Numerous studies have been conducted to analyse bacterial aerosols in animal houses, which is beneficial for the control of animal diseases. However, little information on aerosols in enclosed rabbit sheds was available. An FA-1 sampler was employed to collect air samples in an enclosed rabbit house in the Qingdao region of China. Concentration, composition, and aerodynamics of bacterial aerosols inside the enclosed rabbit shed were systematically analysed. The concentration of airborne bacteria inside the rabbit shed was 2.11-6.36×104 colony forming unit/m3 (CFU/m3). Seventeen species of bacteria belonging to eight genera were identified. Among these, there were 11 species belonging to 4 genera of gram-positive bacteria, and 6 species belonging to 4 genera of gram-negative bacteria. The dominant species of bacteria were, in descending order, Micrococcus luteus (49.4%), Staphylococcus epidermidis (25.5%), and Alcaligenes odorans (10.2%). A total of about 76.3% of airborne bacteria was distributed in stages C-F of the FA-1 sampler (that ranges from A to F), with aerodynamic radii <3.3 μm in diameter. These particulates could enter lower respiratory tracks and even alveoli, posing a potential threat to the health of both animals and breeders.


airborne aerobic bacteria; dominant species; opportunistic pathogens; aerodynamics

Full Text:



Bakutis B., Monstviliene E., Januskeviciene G. 2004. Analyses of airborne contamination with bacteria, endotoxins and dust in livestock barns and poultry houses. Acta Vet. Brno, 73: 283-289. doi:10.2754/avb200473020283

Banhazi T.M., Seedorf J., Laffrique M., Rutley D.L. 2008. Identification of the risk factors for high airborne particle concentrations in broiler buildings using statistical modeling. Biosyst. Eng., 101: 100-110. doi:10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2008.06.007

Cercasov V., Pantelica A., Salagean M., Schreiber H. 1998. Comparative evaluation of some pollutants in the airborne particulate matter in Eastern and Western Europe: two-city study Bucharest-Stuttgart. Environ. Pollut. 101: 331-337. doi:10.1016/S0269-7491(98)00059-1

Chapin A., Rule A., Gibson K., Buckley T., Schwab K. 2005. Airborne multidrug-resistant bacteria isolated from a concentrated swine feeding operation. Environ. Health Perspect., 113: 137-142. doi:10.1289/ehp.7473

Chen X.Y., Bi X.H., Sheng G.Y., Fu J.M., Li B. 2008. The distributive features of indoor and outdoor bacterium aerosol grain in residential area of Guangzhou City. Chin. Trop. Med., 8: 739-743. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1009-9727.2008.05.014

Dorsey J.R., Nemitz E., Gallagher M.W., Fowler D., Williams P.I., Bower K.N., Beswick K.M. 2002. Direct measurements and parameterisation of aerosol flux, concentration and emission velocity above a city. Atmos. Environ. 36: 791-800. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(01)00526-X

Golbabaei F., Islami F. 2000. Evaluation of workers exposure to dust, ammonia and endotoxins in poultry industries at the province of Isfahan, Iran. Ind. Health, 38: 41-46. doi:10.2486/indhealth.38.41

Hameed A., Awad A., Elmorsy T.H., Tarwater P.M., Green C.F., Gibbs S.G. 2010. Air biocontamination in a variety of agricultural industry environments in Egypt: a pilot study. Aerobiologia, 26: 223-232. doi:10.1007/s10453-010-9158-y

Just N., Kirychuk S., Gilbert Y., Létourneau V., Veillette M., Singh B., Duchaine C. 2011. Bacterial diversity characterization of bioaerosols from cage-housed and floor-housed poultry operations. Environ. Res. 111: 492-498. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2011.01.009

Laube H., Friese A., von Salviati C., Guerra B., Rösler U. 2014. Transmission of ESBL/AmpC-producing Escherichia coli from broiler chicken farms to surrounding areas. Vet. Microbiol. 172: 519-527. doi:10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.06.008

Létourneau V., Nehmé B., Mériaux A., Massé D., Cormier Y., Duchaine C. 2010. Human pathogens and tetracyclineresistant bacteria in bioaerosols of swine confinement buildings and in nasal flora of hog producers. Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health, 213: 444-449. doi:10.1016/j.ijheh.2010.09.008

Liang R.P., Xiao P., She R.P., Han S.G., Chang L.L., Zheng L.X. 2013. Culturable airborne bacteria in outdoor poultryslaughtering facility. Microbes Environ., 28: 251-256. doi:10.1264/jsme2.ME12178

Rosas I., Calderón C., Salinas E., Martínez L., Alfaro-Moreno E., Milton D.K., Osornio-Vargas A.R. 2001. Animal and worker exposure to dust and biological particles in animal care houses. Aerobiologia, 17: 49-59. doi:10.1023/A:1007671629837

Roumeliotis T.S., Van Heyst B.J. 2007. Size fractionated particulate matter emissions from a broiler house in Southern Ontario, Canada. Sci. Total Environ. 383: 174-182. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.05.003

Simpson J.C., Niven R.M., Pickering C.A., Fletcher A.M., Oldham L.A., Francis H.M. 1998. Prevalence and predictors of work related respiratory symptoms in workers exposed to organic dusts. Occup. Environ. Med., 55: 668-672. doi:10.1136/oem.55.10.668

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Cited-By (articles included in Crossref)

This journal is a Crossref Cited-by Linking member. This list shows the references that citing the article automatically, if there are. For more information about the system please visit Crossref site

1. PM2.5 from a broiler breeding production system: The characteristics and microbial community analysis
Pengyuan Dai, Dan Shen, Qian Tang, Kai Huang, Chunmei Li
Environmental Pollution  vol: 256  first page: 113368  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113368


 Universitat Politècnica de València


Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)


e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011