Indoor microbiome and airborne pathogens

Marcus H.Y. Leung, Xinzhao Tong, Patrick K.H. Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals spend a majority of their time in indoor or built environments (BEs), where they are exposed to a diverse community of co-existing microorganisms. These microorganisms constitute the BE microbiome. While predominantly consisting of commensal microorganisms, the BE microbiome also contains pathogens that may be transmitted to and between indoor occupants. Therefore, characterization of the BE microbiome and understanding how different factors affect the BE microbiome will enable building scientists to assess health risks associated with indoor microbial exposure and manipulate BE conditions to maximize the health and well-being of occupants. We provide an overview of various aspects of the BE microbiome, including the importance of understanding the indoor microbiome from ecological and clinical perspectives, the history behind BE microbiome research, current laboratory, statistical, and bioinformatic methodologies and considerations in BE microbiome research, the different BE microbiome components and factors that shape this microbiome, the risks of pathogen transmission within BEs, and future directions in BE microbiome research. Some of the most recent and cutting-edge research works are described here, with the aim of providing a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the key findings within the field of indoor microbiology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComprehensive Biotechnology
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780444640475
ISBN (Print)9780444640468
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Built environment
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Indoor microbiome
  • Microbial community
  • Microbial ecology
  • Microbiota
  • Pathogens


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