Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background: Most medical and nursing students live in institute dormitories located in a university hospitalwhere a variety of biological and chemical hazards are used and probably diffuse into the dormitory environments.Objectives: This study aimed to investigate bacterial and fungal counts, and microbial groups in a dormitory ofnursing students in Bangkok, Thailand.Methods: Two-time assessments of bacterial and fungal counts in indoor air samples collected from a dormitoryof nursing students including 8 floors with 95 rooms were carried out. A total of 380 indoor air samples (190 forbacteria and 190 for fungi) were collected from all dormitory rooms using a BioStage Impactor and 48 outdoor airsamples were collected for comparison. Air samples were collected twice, i.e., in the first month and the thirdmonth of the study.Results: The mean bacterial counts were 151 109 cfu/m3 and 158 92 cfu/m3 and those of fungal counts were374 273 cfu/m3 and 363 257 cfu/m3 from the first and the second assessment. The lower floors of the dormitory(1 - 4 floors) had significantly higher levels of bacterial and fungal counts in both assessments when comparedwith the higher floors of the dormitory (5 - 8 floors) (P < 0.001). The percentages of bacterial and fungal countswith > 300 cfu/m3 in the lower floors were significantly higher than those in the higher floors in the first and thesecond assessments (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). Additionally, the most common isolated bacteria andfungi were Staphylococcus spp., and Aspergillus spp., respectively.Conclusion: This study reveals that the lower floors of the dormitory had significantly higher levels of bacterialand fungal counts when compared with the higher floors of the dormitory from both assessments. Most isolatedmicrobes do not generally present a health hazard but high loads may trigger allergic reactions in susceptiblehosts.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

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