Consideration of humans as a bioaerosol source for infection control in the workplace - Quantification of proteins in exhaled air

  • Project number: F 2584
  • Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA)
  • Status: Ongoing Project
  • Planned end: 2027-12-31


The quality of indoor air has become a focus of attention due to transient waves of infection, such as the recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. CO2 traffic lights were recommended as a pragmatic solution during the pandemic to point out the need for fresh air indoors. However, the relationship between the concentration of CO2 and human bioaerosol particles has not yet been sufficiently investigated from a scientific perspective.

Therefore, this project aims to develop a method to determine the amount of lung-specific proteins in the exhaled particles. In order to achieve this objective, the test subjects exhale into a collection device in which the exhaled particles are separated on filters. Subsequently, the proteins are extracted from the filters, and a mass spectrometric method is developed to identify and quantify the lung-specific proteins.

Ultimately, the objective of this method is to quantify the concentration of lung-specific proteins in both human exhaled air and indoor air. In this way, the role and contribution of human bioaerosols to indoor air quality can be assessed and ventilation recommendations based on CO2 concentration can be verified.

Pathogens and their proteins may also be exhaled and accumulate indoors. In order to better understand the role of human bioaerosol particles in relation to infection risks, follow-up projects are planned in the area of human interaction work.

Further Information


Unit 4.II.2 "Bioaerosols"

Phone: +49 231 9071-1971
Fax: +49 231 9071-2070