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The bacterial community of childcare centers: Potential implications for microbial dispersal and child exposure

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Background: Bacterial communities within built environments reflect differences in sources of bacteria, building design, and environmental contexts. These communities impact the health of their occupants in many ways. Children interact with the built environment differently than do adults as a result of their unique behaviors, size, and developmental status. Consequently, understanding the broader bacterial community to which children are exposed will help inform public health efforts and contribute to our growing understanding of the bacterial community associated with childcare centers. Methods: We sampled childcare centers to survey the variation in bacterial community composition across five surfaces found inside and outside twelve classrooms and six centers using 16S rRNA marker gene amplicon sequencing. We then correlated these bacterial community analyses of surfaces with environmental and demographic measures of illumination and classroom occupant density. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States
State(s):
North Carolina

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