Chien-Jung Lin1, Yi-Tun Wang1, Kuo-Jung Hsien2, Ying I. Tsai 1, Pei-Yi Kung1, Jih-Ming Chyan1

  • 1 Department of Environmental Resources Management, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, 60, Sec. 1, Erren Rd., Rende, Tainan 71710, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan City 71710, Taiwan

Received: January 13, 2013
Revised: January 22, 2013
Accepted: January 22, 2013
Download Citation: ||  

  • Download: PDF

Cite this article:
Lin, C.J., Wang, Y.T., Hsien, K.J., Tsai, Y.I., Kung, P.Y. and Chyan, J.M. (2013). In Situ Rapid Evaluation of Indoor Bioaerosols Using an ATP Bioluminescence Assay. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 13: 922-931.



An adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence method was developed for detecting microbial activity in indoor air. This method was compared with the traditional method of collecting, culturing and counting CFUs. A comparison of the results showed that ATP bioluminescence, expressed as RLUs, was moderately correlated with the entire set of CFU counts (r = 0.607), and that the correlation improved to r = 0.963 (p value < 0.001) when CFU outliers were removed from the calculations. The ATP bioluminescence method was applied at four different sites; a hospital Chinese medicine diagnostic room, a library, a government office, and a railway station lobby. The results showed that microbial activity was far higher in the railway station lobby than at the other three sites, and this is believed to be due to the higher volume and density of people in this space. At all four sites, higher microbial activity was linked to indoor plants, garbage cans, shoe racks, and furnished waiting areas. PCA of the data showed that microbial activity in the Chinese medicine diagnostic room was closely related to room temperature and humidity, and hence lowering the latter can reduce the potential for microbial activity at this site. At all four sites, no correlation was found between microbial activity and airborne pollutants. The ATP bioluminescence method was applied for the rapid evaluation of room disinfection using chloride dioxide, and results showed that twenty minutes after spraying with 100 ppm ClO2, microbial activity was reduced to 38.7% of its original level. ATP bioluminescence is simpler, easier to operate, and more cost-effective than the conventional microbial culture method of evaluating microbial load. The results obtained in this research confirm that the proposed ATP bioluminescence technique is capable of instantaneously detecting microbial activity in an indoor environment. Moreover, this approach can be used for on-line evaluation of room disinfection efficiency.

Keywords: Bioaerosol; Principal component analysis; Indoor air quality; ATP bioluminescence; Microbial activity; Relative light unit

Share this article with your colleagues 


Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

81st percentile
Powered by

2020 Impact Factor: 3.063
5-Year Impact Factor: 2.857

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal that promotes submissions of high-quality research and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world. We use cookies on this website to personalize content to improve your user experience and analyze our traffic. By using this site you agree to its use of cookies.