The use of bioaerosol sampling for airborne virus surveillance in swine production facilities: A mini review

Benjamin D. Anderson, John A. Lednicky, Montserrat Torremorell, Gregory C. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Modern swine production facilities typically house dense populations of pigs and may harbor a variety of potentially zoonotic viruses that can pass from one pig generation to another and periodically infect human caretakers. Bioaerosol sampling is a common technique that has been used to conduct microbial risk assessments in swine production, and other similar settings, for a number of years. However, much of this work seems to have been focused on the detection of non-viral microbial agents (i.e., bacteria, fungi, endotoxins, etc.), and efforts to detect viral aerosols in pig farms seem sparse. Data generated by such studies would be particularly useful for assessments of virus transmission and ecology. Here, we summarize the results of a literature review conducted to identify published articles related to bioaerosol generation and detection within swine production facilities, with a focus on airborne viruses. We identified 73 scientific reports, published between 1991 and 2017, which were included in this review. Of these, 19 (26.7%) used sampling methodology for the detection of viruses. Our findings show that bioaerosol sampling methodologies in swine production settings have predominately focused on the detection of bacteria and fungi, with no apparent standardization between different approaches. Information, specifically regarding virus aerosol burden in swine production settings, appears to be limited. However, the number of viral aerosol studies has markedly increased in the past 5 years. With the advent of new sampling technologies and improved diagnostics, viral bioaerosol sampling could be a promising way to conduct non-invasive viral surveillance among swine farms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Issue numberJUL
StatePublished - Jul 27 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Air sampling
  • Animal production
  • Bioaerosols
  • Swine
  • Viruses
  • Zoonoses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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