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Abstract

The study was aimed at evaluating microbial contamination on the premises of the sewage treatment plant by determining the concentrations of selected groups of airborne microorganisms. Another objective was to determine the antibiotic sensitivity patterns of isolated strains of staphylococci. The research was conducted in a seasonal cycle, by the impaction method using Merck MAS-100 air sampler. Samples were collected at six sites, each representing a different stage of sewage treatment. The susceptibility of isolated staphylococci was assessed with the disc-diffusion method, following the recommendations of the EUCAST. The results indicate that the microbial population in the air of the investigated area was dominated by mold fungi, whose highest average concentration was recorded at site IV located near the final clarifier (7672 CFU•m-3). Heterotrophic bacteria and mannitol-positive staphylococci were the most numerous at locations where sewage undergoes primary treatment. In each subseuqent stage the number of microorganisms emitted into the air from the sewage was lower. Antibiograms show that more than 50% of Staphylococcus spp. exhibited resistance to penicillin and 20% to rifampicin. In addition, 90% of the analyzed strains were sensitive to other antibiotics. The fungal community included the following genera: Cladosporium, Fusarium, Alternaria, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Aureobasidium, and Acremonium.The highest air contamination with all studied groups of microorganisms was recorded at the locations where mechanical sewage treatment was performed. During the subsequent stages lower numbers of heterotrophic bacteria were emitted into the air. The air in the investigated sewage treatment plant did not contain multidrug-resistant staphylococci.
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