IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Using Dendritic Cells as Biosensors of Biological Air Quality


A number of work environments, in particular pig houses, dairy farms, peatland, sawmills and food processing plants, are affected by bioaerosol-related health issues. Nonetheless, there are no exposure limits for the different bioaerosol components, apart from recommendations for endotoxins and certain dusts. Furthermore, the nature of the bioaerosols found in these environments has only been partially established, making it difficult to predict their health effects.
The development of a method that can be used to establish health indexes could help to improve working conditions. Dendritic cells are immune-system cells that are highly sensitive to exogenous agents . These cells have the capacity to react differently to pathogenic and non-pathogenic agents.

This research is based on the hypothesis that dendritic cells can be used as biosensors to assess air quality. A biosensor is a biological indicator that can be used to assess the quality of different media, such as food, or to detect the presence of certain substances, in blood, for example.

The purpose of this research is to use dendritic cell cultures to measure the immunogenic potential of workplace air.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2010-0061
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2018
  • David Marsolais (Centre de recherche de l'IUCPQ)
  • Caroline Duchaine (Centre de recherche de l'IUCPQ)