:: Section 3 of 10
Viable Bioaerosols: Microbiological Focus
Another type of microorganism of utmost important to the field of bioaerosols are viruses. A virus is simply a DNA strand inside of a protein capsule. Viruses require a host for survival and do not carry out metabolic processes. They do not belong to any of the three domains of life because viruses are not self-sustaining entities. Viruses are significantly smaller than bacteria and fungi, generally ranging in the 20-300 nanometer range. Their small size poses significant challenges in attempts to sample for their presence. Infamous virus pathogens include the influenza, SARS, smallpox, and chickenpox viruses.
A schematic of the HIV virus is shown in the figure below.
Figure 6: Schematic of the HIV virus.3