applied at the training facilities of IMG Academy

The purpose of this study 

The purpose of this study is to verify the reduction in the presence of harmful pathogens and micro-organisms on surfaces and objects combined with the elimination of noxious organic odors within a high school sports training facility thru the aerial introduction of multiple strains of environmentally beneficial bacteria (probiotics) developed by Betterair and brand-named Enviro-Biotics.

IMG Academy

IMG Academy is a world renowned preparatory boarding school and sports training destination in Bradenton, Florida, United States. Generations of world champions had received their early training at IMG (Andre Agassi and Serena Williams for Tennis as one example).   IMG Academy is set across over 600 acres. It features sports camps for youth athletes, adult camps, a boarding school, a post-graduate/gap-year program, events, professional and collegiate training, group hosting, and corporate retreats. 

IMG seek to improve wellbeing in its facilities

IMG Academy experienced issues controlling harmful micro-organisms and pathogens within the training and locker room areas.  They also had severe issues with noxious odor control within the aforementioned areas infiltrating the entire facility. 

The continual introduction of pathogens and harmful micro-organisms into the training facility and locker rooms from players, their equipment, and uniforms resulted in numerous infections of the athletes reducing their training ability and participation in athletic competitions.  Noxious odors contributed to an unpleasant facility that players and staff constantly complained about. 

Numerous cleaning and disinfecting technologies were considered before the decision was made to use Betterair’s Enviro-Biotics, with most being discarded due to their reliance on chemicals and synthetics that are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. Betterair was chosen for its safety, cost-effectiveness, and efficacy at eliminating noxious odors while minimizing the presence of harmful micro-organisms.     

Methodology of Study

To gauge the reduction in the presence of harmful pathogens and micro-organisms on surfaces and objects as a result of the introduction of Betterair’s Enviro-Biotics to the facility, microbial analysis was conducted before the introduction of Enviro-Biotics by the swabbing of multiple surfaces and objects with the samples being sent the Hayes Microbial Consulting laboratories in Virginia that has been accredited and used extensively for microbial testing and analysis.  Then the facility was fogged with Betterair’s Enviro-Biotics to accelerate the resetting and rebalancing of the facility’s microbiome.  After fogging the facility, two Betterair BA-1200 Biologic Pro Probiotic Purification Units were attached to the facility HVAC system’s ducts that served the facility providing 24/7/365 aerial dispersion into the HVAC ducts which carried the Enviro-Biotics to all areas of the facility served by the HVAC system.  The two Betterair BA-1200 Biologic Pro Probiotic Purification units operated for approximately 30 days. Then, the exact surfaces and objects initially swabbed were again swabbed, and the samples were sent to Hayes Microbial Consulting for analysis.   

The verification in eliminating the noxious odors relies on a methodology where feedback is collected by the staff and students familiar with a long-term condition and can assess and report on the change based on their personal experience.

 Results

Swab samples taken from the site, from 7 different locations, on the day of installation (denoted as “before”) and one-month post operation of BA 1200 systems (marked as “+Enviro-Biotics”), were sent and analyzed at Hayes Microbial Laboratories in Virginia (FDA Laboratory ID: VA01419
formal reporting attached in Annex I).  The microorganisms in each sample were identified, quantified, and listed according to their specific collection spot (Annex 1-2).

Results analysis were divided into three significant groups: fungal, gram-negative fermenters bacteria, and Bacillus spp. to address the specific changes within these groups.

Change in Bacillus spp. population

Substantiation of Enviro-Biotics dispersion by BA systems was demonstrated by a significant increase in Bacillus spp. of 230% post-one-month treatment [Figure 1]. Bacillus spp. They are ubiquitous and can be found on primarily nonpathogenic surfaces except for two species (B. anthracis and B. cereus).  Bacillus spp. Regulate their microbial surrounding by excreting antibiotic compounds and consuming bacterial feeding resources. Such capabilities vary significantly among different Bacillus spp. and strains.

Bacillus spp. also excretes many active enzymes that break down protein formations, thus being able to digest allergens and some viral capsid formations (spikes), leading to their deactivating (unpublished article, Betterair).

Effect of Enviro-Biotics 1 month treatment on surface-based fungal communities

A significant trend of over 94% reduction was demonstrated in all fungal communities with a total of 1.5 log reduction [Figure 2]. Fungi are responsible for much structural damage in households and buildings, commonly called mold damage, and inducing mild to acute allergenic symptoms. 

The most abundantly found fungi families in this study were Cladosporium and Yeast,

where a 99% and 96% reduction (respectively) were observed. While yeast is generally considered nonpathogenic (except Candida spp., which is regarded as highly pathogenic to the urinary system), Cladosporium spp. Secreted proteins cause many inhalant allergies and irritation of the respiratory system.

Effect of Enviro-Biotics 1 month treatment on surface-based gram-negative bacteria

Gram-negative fermenter bacteria had dominated the surfaces in almost all locations before the beginning of Enviro-Biotics administration. The probiotic treatment has reduced the gram-negative bacteria community by 86% [Figure 3]. Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) are among the world’s most significant public health problems due to their high antibiotic resistance and versatile infection modes. Keeping the gram-negative population at a low level helps to prevent disease transmission. In contrast, concurrently, a low dosage of environmental probiotics (Enviro-Biotics) empowers our immune system to be exposed to the positive micro-organism and be well prepared if pathogenic kinds should try to attack.

The reduction in overall microorganism populations on surfaces can also be demonstrated by the number of times microorganisms turned up on the surfaces collectively in all locations [ Figure 4]. While before treatment, fungi and gram-negative bacteria turned up in the tests 15 and 7 times, respectively; after one month of Enviro-Biotics treatment, there were only four fungal and three bacterial identifications in the entire testing site.

Further, understanding the implication of Enviro-Biotics treatment in this test can be achieved by learning the pathogenic and/or allergenic potential of the most abundantly detected microorganisms:
Cladosporium spp.
The spores of Cladosporium are biological air pollutants that pose a threat to human health. They irritate the respiratory tract and contain numerous proteins that cause inhalant allergies in people. The symptoms of inhalant allergies include allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and conjunctivitis, mold asthma, and allergic alveolitis. [1]

Fusarium spp. Fusarium mycotoxins are capable of inducing both acute and chronic toxic effects. Intake of high doses of mycotoxins may lead to acute mycotoxicosis that can cause carcinoma, digestive disorders, oxidative damage, and reproductive toxicities—fusarium spp. The infected object may cause a severe skin or eye cornea infection during direct trauma. Also, Fusarium is a known allergenic, irritating the respiratory system [2-5]

Bacillus spp.
The majority of Bacillus are non-pathogenic, and many species have been used for biotechnological and industrial applications. Only a few species of Bacillus are known to cause disease in animals and humans, i.e., Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus, are considered medically significant [6]

Gram-negative fermenter bacteria:
Common genera include several types of bacteria families and some spp. These are the primary cause of urinary tract infections, infection-related kidney stones, severe pneumonia, chronic granulomatous disease, etc. [7].

Yeast spp.
Usually, yeast is not considered harmful, except Spp. Candida yeasts are classified as opportunistic pathogens, meaning they only exist under specific conditions [8].

 

 

 Conclusion

As detailed above, the microbial analysis of the samples taken before and after the introduction of Betterair’s Enviro-Biotics© verifies a dramatic decrease in harmful pathogens and micro-organisms.   Also, the success of Enviro-Biotics© in preventing newly introduced harmful pathogens (the indoor environment is a very fluid one with new pathogens constantly being introduced) is crucial in the long-term preservation of the well-being and health of the people that occupy the treated facilities.  The testimonies  by staff and students of the significant reduction in the presence of the noxious odors that previously permeated throughout the facility corroborate the microbial analysis as foul odor is indicative of the active presence  of harmful micro-organism, and the disappearance of foul odor if proof of their disappearance

References

[1] Weryszko-Chmielewska, Elzbieta, et al. “Health hazards related to conidia of Cladosporium—biological air pollutants in Poland, central Europe.” Journal of environmental sciences 65 (2018): 271-281.

[2] Wu, Felicia, John D. Groopman, and James J. Pestka. “Public health impacts of foodborne mycotoxins.” Annual food science and technology review 5 (2014): 351-372.

[3] Ji, Fang, et al. “Occurrence, toxicity, production and detection of Fusarium mycotoxin: A review.” Food Production, Processing and Nutrition 1.1 (2019): 1-14.

[4] De Lucca, Anthony J. “Harmful fungi in both agriculture and medicine.” Revista iberoamericana de micología 24.1 (2007): 3.

[5] Hargreaves, Megan, et al. “A pilot investigation into associations between indoor airborne fungal and non-biological particle concentrations in residential houses in Brisbane, Australia.” Science of the Total Environment 312.1-3 (2003): 89-101.

[6] Gu, Han-Jie, et al. “A first study of the virulence potential of a Bacillus subtilis isolate from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent.” Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology 9 (2019): 183.

[7] Guentzel, M. Neal. “Escherichia, klebsiella, enterobacter, serratia, citrobacter, and proteus.” Medical Microbiology. 4th edition (1996).

[8] Schulze, Jürgen, and Ulrich Sonnenborn. “Yeasts in the gut: from commensals to infectious agents.” Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 106.51-52 (2009): 837.

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