Next Article in Journal
Infectious Risk Assessment of Unsafe Handling Practices and Management of Clinical Solid Waste
Previous Article in Journal
Childhood Mortality Due to Unintentional Injuries in Japan, 2000–2009
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(2), 541-555; doi:10.3390/ijerph10020541

Assessment of the Levels of Airborne Bacteria, Gram-Negative Bacteria, and Fungi in Hospital Lobbies

1,* , 2,3, 3 and 1,4
1 Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul, 110-791, Korea 2 Hanbul Energy Manufacturing, Sampyeong-Dong, Bundang-Gu, Gyeonggido, 463-413, Korea 3 Department of Global Healthcare Management, Gachon University, Gyeonggido, 461-701, Korea 4 Institute for Occupational Health & Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, Seoul, 120-752, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2012 / Revised: 4 January 2013 / Accepted: 16 January 2013 / Published: 31 January 2013
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [299 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]   |  


Aims: We assessed the levels of airborne bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria (GNB), and fungi in six hospital lobbies, and investigated the environmental and hospital characteristics that affected the airborne microorganism levels. Methods: An Andersen single-stage sampler equipped with appropriate nutrition plate agar was used to collect the samples. The three types of microorganisms were repeatedly collected at a fixed location in each hospital (assumed to be representative of the entire hospital lobby) from 08:00 through 24:00, with a sampling time of less than 5 min. Temperature and relative humidity were simultaneously monitored. Results: Multiple regression analysis was used to identify the major factors affecting microorganism levels. The average levels of bacteria (7.2 × 102 CFU/m3), GNB (1.7 × 10 CFU/m3), and fungi (7.7 × 10 CFU/m3) indicated that all hospital lobbies were generally contaminated. Season was the only factor that significantly affected the levels of all microorganisms (p < 0.0001), where contamination was the highest during the summer, significantly higher than during the winter. Other significant factors varied by microorganism, as follows: airborne bacteria (number of people in the lobby, sampling time), GNB (scale of hospital), and fungi (humidity and air temperature). Conclusions: Hospital lobby air was generally contaminated with microorganisms, including bacteria, GNB, and fungi. Environmental factors that may significantly influence the airborne concentrations of these agents should be managed to minimize airborne levels.
Keywords: hospital lobby; bacteria; fungi; Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) hospital lobby; bacteria; fungi; Gram-negative bacteria (GNB)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Park, D.-U.; Yeom, J.-K.; Lee, W.J.; Lee, K.-M. Assessment of the Levels of Airborne Bacteria, Gram-Negative Bacteria, and Fungi in Hospital Lobbies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 541-555.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert