Monitoring Air During Viral Outbreaks

Infectious diseases represent a permanent threat to public health. The current global pandemic of COVID-19 (caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) has forced society to face unforeseen challenges and to adjust to a new reality. As mutant coronavirus strains have emerged posing new challenges in combating the pandemic, the need to monitor the airborne viral load in critical areas is more important than ever to halt the spread of the virus.

See our experts’ publication in PDA Letter:
COVID-19 Puts Focus on Airborne Virus and Pathogenic Microorganism Detection Methods

Case study demonstrating the use of our MD8 Airport and Gelatine filters to monitor airborne SARS-CoV-2

In response to the pandemic, several customers of ours have deployed biosurveillance programs to ensure that their air sterilisation/purification systems are effective. Learn how our MD8 Airport & Gelatine Filters paired with the mBioCoV-19 RT PCR kit from Nusantics are being used to monitor the air quality at Cinema XXI. With the implementation of such monitoring systems, Cinema XXI hopes to create a safe environment for patrons to return to.

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Air Sampling Tools for Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in Droplets & Aerosols

Designed to detect the smallest viruses and microorganisms in your air 

The MD8 air samplers, MD8 Airscan® and the portable Airport MD8, are designed to detect smallest viruses and microorganism in the air by using the unique Gelatine Membrane Filters (GMF) and BactairTM agar plates. MD8 Airscan® and Airport MD8 monitors ambient air in cleanrooms, controlled, and  public areas for viable microorganisms.

The MD8 Airscan® and Airport MD8 provides non-stop, active air monitoring for at least 8 hours, using only a single gelatin membrane filter. Rule out false negative results; the proprietary, USP-approved filter retains even the smallest airborne microorganisms and monitors viability at the most accurate level. 

MD8 Air Samplers

MD8 air samplers, MD8 airscan and portable AirPort MD8 for detection of airborne microorganisms.

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Gelatin membrane filters

Water soluble gelatin membrane filters are the perfect way to quickly test for SARS-CoV-2. With the help of the portable MD8 air sampler, the air of all high-contamination risk areas can be sampled for coronavirus. The membrane can be dissolved in minimal volumes of water, aiding with RNA sample concentration right from the start.

  • Gelatin filter solubility is ideal for rapid testing methods
  • The highest retention rates for bacteria, viruses, spores, and phages

Single use or with reusable holder

Our gelatin membrane filters are available with a single-use filter base  of 80 mm diameter and also with stainless steel reusable filter holders, suitable for different diameters. 

Gelatine filters, in conjunction with the MD8 air sampler, offers the following features and benefits:

  • “Absolute” retention rate (99.9995% for Bac. sub. niger spores, 99.94% for T3 phages)
  •  The filter maintains the viability of collected microorganisms for a relevant and meaningful sampling time
  • Gelatine filters are completely water soluble, a requirement for virus sampling

Gelatin Membrane Filters

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It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID 19

This was the call out of 239 scientists to the WHO to re-investigate te airborne transmission of SARS-CoV2 with a view to the dangers posted by aerosolized particles.

Read what 239 scientists had to say!

A commentary signed by 239 scientists from around the globe are advocating preventive measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission.

Lidia Morawska, Donald K Milton, It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19, Clinical Infectious Diseases, ciaa939,

And the WHO Response to the commentary

Update to the Scientific Brief on the Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

New scientific evidence is available on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 which suggests that not only respiratory droplets but also aerosols can function as potential transmission pathways for COVID-19.  Many questions remain unanswered as this infection route has yet to be definitively demonstrated, particularly in regard to transmission ‘in the absence of aerosol generating procedures, and in indoor settings with poor ventilation.

Detection of airborne viruses

See how experts have used the Sartorius air samplers and Gelatine Membrane Filters in different virus detection areas!

Reduce the risk of transmission by monitoring airborne viruses. Evaluate the effectiveness of sanitization and air filtration, air exchange, and ventilation. 

Razzini, K. , Castrica, M. Menchetti, L. et al 
SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in the air and on surfaces in the COVID-19 ward of a hospital in Milan, Italy
Science of the Total Environment (2020)

Cheng VC, Wong SC, Chan VW, et al.
Air and environmental sampling for SARS-CoV-2 around hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
[published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 8].
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020;1-32.

Liu, Y., Ning, Z., Chen, Y. et al. Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitalsNature (2020).

Ong SWX, Tan YK, Chia PY, et al. 2020.
Air, Surface Environmental, and Personal Protective Equipment Contamination by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) From a Symptomatic Patient. JAMA. Published online March 04, 2020.
Joshua L Santarpia, Danielle N Rivera, Vicki Herrera, et al. 2020.
Transmission Potential of SARS-CoV-2 in Viral Shedding Observed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

New! See how indoor air of households inhabited by a Covid-19 positive patient was sampled by using a MD8 Airport (Sartorius) collector with gelatin filters.

Rodríguez, M., Palop, L.,  Seseña, S. et al
Are the Portable Air Cleaners (PAC) really effective to terminate airborne SARS-CoV- 2?
Science of the Total Environment (2021)

Identify risk points in passenger environments and guide measures to minimize transmission of respiratory viruses.

Ikonen, N., Savolainen-Kopra, C., Enstone, J.E. et al. 2018.
Deposition of Respiratory Virus Pathogens on Frequently Touched Surfaces at Airports. BMC Infect Dis 18, 437 (2018).
Detection of coronavirus in the air of public areas in Wuhan
Yuan Liu, Zhi Ning, Yu Chen, et al. 2020.
Aerodynamic Characteristics and RNA Concentration of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol in Wuhan Hospitals during COVID-19 Outbreak.
bioRxiv. doi:

Study of potential transmission pathways (aerosol and fomite transmission) of viruses.

Neeltje van Doremalen, Trenton Bushmaker, Dylan H. Morris et al. 2020.
Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine.
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973
Etsuko Hatagishi, Michiko Okamoto, Suguru Ohmiya  et al. 2014.
Establishment and Clinical Applications of a Portable System for Capturing Influenza Viruses Released through Coughing. PLOS ONE, Volume 9 e103560.

Azhar EI, Hashem AM, El-Kafrawy SA, et al. 2014.
Detection of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Genome in an Air Sample Originating from a Camel Barn Owned by an Infected Patient, 2014
Vergara-Alert J, Raj VS, Mu~noz M, et al. 2017.
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus experimental transmission using a pig model.
Sung-Han Kim, So Young Chang, Minki Sung et al. 2016.
Extensive Viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus Contamination in Air and Surrounding Environment in MERS Isolation Wards, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 63, Issue 3, 1 August 2016, Pages 363–369,

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Worried about Virus Recovery From the Air?

We (Dis)solve Your Problem!

Introducing the solvable air filter for 100% recovery of airborne viruses

The Sartorius Gelatine Membrane Filter Virus Detection Workflow shows how our air sampling tools for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosols are used.

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Air Monitoring Workflow at a Glance

covid-19 workflow

COVID-19 Sampling Kit

Our new COVID-19 sampling kit, comprising of the MD8 Airport, 47 mm Gelatine membrane filter and the Microsart @solve facilitates sampling, storage for transport and easy sample recovery.

Here's How

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