Chapter 78 : Airborne Bacteria and Endotoxin

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Livestock production and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are highly contaminated environments. These include swine, poultry, dairy, and beef cattle facilities, and , , , , , , and spp. are commonly present. Bacteria, endotoxin, and organic dust are the major airborne contaminants in swine CAFOs, and culturable airborne bacterial levels as high as 10 CFU/m have been reported. The cotton textile, vegetable- and seed-processing, machining, and forest products industries and slaughterhouse facilities are environments with moderate concentrations of bacteria and endotoxin. Outdoor environments also may contain high airborne concentrations of bacterial contaminants resulting from their proximity to bacterium-laden industries or activities. Endotoxins are regularly found in indoor and outdoor air, water, soil, and food. Endotoxins exist as lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or lipooligosaccharides depending on the genus. Acute inhalation exposure to purified endotoxin or to particulate matter containing endotoxin can induce airflow obstruction, airway hyperreactivity, inflammation, and systemic symptoms including fever, chills, myalgia, and malaise. The inflammation is marked by the appearance of neutrophils and proinflammatory cytokines in lung lavage fluid and includes clinical conditions such as asthma, asthma-like syndrome, organic dust toxic syndrome, and byssinosis. The biological activity of endotoxin from various organisms varies depending on their chemical structure and bioavailability. Susceptibilities differ between individuals dependent on genetic differences in the recognition and response pathways.

Citation: Thorne P, Duchaine C. 2007. Airborne Bacteria and Endotoxin, p 989-1004. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch78

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Gram-Negative Bacteria
Wastewater Treatment Plants
Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis
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Categories of environmental contamination for bacteria and endotoxin

Citation: Thorne P, Duchaine C. 2007. Airborne Bacteria and Endotoxin, p 989-1004. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch78
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Endotoxin concentrations in occupational environments

Citation: Thorne P, Duchaine C. 2007. Airborne Bacteria and Endotoxin, p 989-1004. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch78
Generic image for table

Endotoxin concentrations in ambient, domestic, and office environments

Citation: Thorne P, Duchaine C. 2007. Airborne Bacteria and Endotoxin, p 989-1004. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch78

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