, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 35-41
Date: 15 Nov 2007

Characterization of actinomycetes isolated from the indoor air of the church of Saint Katherine Monastery, Egypt

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Abstract

Actinomycetes were isolated from the indoor air of the church of Saint Katherin Monastery during different visiting hours. Fifty air samples collected over one year by using automated air sampler were plated on four different media. The low nutrient-content medium 1/10 SC was significantly effective in recovery of actinomycetes compared to the other formula of rich media. Average counts of bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi were 487, 65 and 90 cfu/m3, respectively. Fifty-six morphologically different actinomycetes isolates were recovered during this study assigned into five different genera, in addition to three unidentified isolates. Tentative identification of the isolates indicated predominance of genus Streptomyces, representing 59% of the isolates. Isolates were screened for resistance to 11 antibiotics, antimicrobial activities towards seven microbial strains, Growth on 12 different carbon source, acid production and pigmentation. About 77% of actinomycete isolates were resistant to the antibiotics with different resistance patterns. 12.5% of the airborne actinomycetes exhibited antinmicrobial activities. The isolates showed wide variation in carbon source usage. Forty percent of the isolates were able to utilize all tested carbon sources while 80% were acid producers. Melanin production was produced by 34% of the isolates. While 45% of the isolates were able to produce other diffusible pigments, the majority of the pigments were brown in color however; yellow, orange and green pigments were produced by a number of isolates. The impact of these activities on the historical objects of the church and the tourist’s health is discussed.