Microbiological analysis of bioaerosols collected from Hospital Emergency Departments and ambulances
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Biological Threats Identification and Countermeasure Centre, Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Puławy, Poland
Faculty of Agrobioengineering, Department of Environmental Microbiology, Laboratory of Mycology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Laboratory of Epidemiology, Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, Poland
Pathology Department, Biostructure Centrum, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
School of Public Health, Centre for Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2018;25(2):274–279
Introduction and objective:
The goal of the study was a microbiological, qualitative and quantitative analysis of bioaerosol at the workplace of medical personnel (Health Emergency Departments (HEDs), ambulances), and comparative administration offices with an expected neutral occupational exposure to biological agents measured with individual Button Sampler.

Material and methods:
Personal sampling was performed with Button Sampler instrument loaded with gelatine filters in 10 HEDs, in 9 ambulances and in 9 offices to assess the occupational biological agents’ exposure in air. Sampling was conducted from March until April 2016. Samples were quantitatively assessed for viable and total number of bacteria and fungi. Routine procedures for microbiological diagnostics were implemented. Data were analysed using Kruskal–Wallis and Mann-Whitney statistical tests with α=0.05. P value less than 0.05 were considered significant.

At the workplaces assessed, the concentrations of viable microorganisms in HEDs were 1.3×102 – 4.2×103 CFU/m3 for bacteria, 3.4×100 – 8.1×101 CFU/m3 for fungi; in ambulances 1.3×102 – 1.4×103 CFU/m3 (bacteria), 6.7×100 – 6.5×102 CFU/m3 (fungi) and in offices 4.2×101 – 5.0×103 CFU/m3 (bacteria), 0 – 7.9×102 CFU/m3(fungi). In outdoor air, the number of microorganisms reached the level: 1.0×102 – 5.9×102 CFU/m3 for bacteria and 1.5×102 – 8.2×102 CFU/m3 for fungi. The predominant isolated bacteria were Gram-positive cocci. The prevalent fungi species belonged to the genus Aspergillus and Penicillium.

The quantitative assessment of examined indoor air was similar to control outdoor air, and were relatively low. The level of microbiological contamination did not exceed 5×103 CFU/m3 which is recommended as an admissible level in public spaces in Poland.

Agata Bielawska-Drózd   
Biological Threats Identification and Countermeasure Center, Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Puławy, Lubelska 2 St., Poland, Lubelska 2, 24-100 Puławy, Poland
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