Airborne microorganisms have significant effects on human health, and children are more vulnerable to pathogens and allergens than adults. However, little is known about the microbial communities in the air of childcare facilities. Here, we analyzed the bacterial and fungal communities in 50 air samples collected from five daycare centers and five elementary schools located in Seoul, Korea using culture-independent high-throughput pyrosequencing. The microbial communities contained a wide variety of taxa not previously identified in child daycare centers and schools. Moreover, the dominant species differed from those reported in previous studies using culture-dependent methods. The well-known fungi detected in previous culture-based studies (Alternaria, Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium) represented less than 12% of the total sequence reads. The composition of the fungal and bacterial communities in the indoor air differed greatly with regard to the source of the microorganisms. The bacterial community in the indoor air appeared to contain diverse bacteria associated with both humans and the outside environment. In contrast, the fungal community was largely derived from the surrounding outdoor environment and not from human activity. The profile of the microorganisms in bioaerosols identified in this study provides the fundamental knowledge needed to develop public health policies regarding the monitoring and management of indoor air quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas