Monday, 6 December 2010
The air surrounding us plays an extremely important role in our well being and efficiency. Breathing pure and clean air allows us to think more clearly, sleep more soundly, and stay healthier. Studies show that we receive 56% of our energy from the air we breathe, more than from water and food combined. On average we breathe 37 pounds of air a day. The quality of the environment within buildings is a topic of major importance for public health and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a major concern at work places. The objective of the present study was to assess two negative ion purifiers - Xtreme 3000 and Luna Induct air purifiers on the net reduction of bacteria in the microbiology and mycology laboratories of Baptist Saint Anthony’s Hospital (BSA) in Amarillo, Texas and the specific effect on methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA. MRSA has become a serious public health issue. Luna Induct air units use an advanced hydrated Photo-Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) filtration system. It produces a broad spectrum high intensity UV light targeted on a quad metallic catalyst in a low-level ozone and moist atmosphere. Bacteria isolated from petri plates exposed to the room air were gram positive bacilli such as Bacillus, Coryneform (diptheroids), coagulase negative Staphylococcus and Micrococcus spp., and encapsulated gram negative bacilli. In every case there was reduction in airborne pathogen with variable room sizes when the air purifiers were used. TSA plates with 5% sheep blood were placed for exposure rooms at different distances and intervals. Plates were evaluated for the total number of bacterial and fungal colonies at intervals of 24, 48, 72 and 120 hours. We plated the MRSA strains from the stock culture after dilution 10-4 to investigate the effect of air-purifiers on the production of number of colonies of MRSA. TSA plates were inoculated with the strain after serial dilutions as follows. 5 ml of stock culture was diluted to 10-4 after incubation at 37o C for 24 hours and were plated onto TSA petri plates. ‘t-test’ results show that there was a significant difference in the air purifier treated sets and a gradual reduction in the number of colonies. The reduction of latent bacteria in the air could possibly reduce the transmission of airborne disease.