Airborne transmission is an important route for many microbial pathogens in outdoor and indoor environments, including hospitals. A 2-year-long survey of bioaerosol quality in operating theatres (OT), hospital rooms (HR) and maternity wards (MW) at a hospital in Murcia, Spain, was performed. Total aerobic counts (TAC) and fungal load (FL) were assessed using a microbiological air sampler (MAS-100 single-stage impactor). While fungal levels were below 1 cfu/m3 (0–7.33 cfu/m3) in OT, they were higher in MW (mean, 6.9 cfu/m3; range 0.44–44.67 cfu/m3) and in HR (mean, 10.6 cfu/m3; range, 0–266 cfu/m3). In OT the aerobic counts were considerably higher, with a mean of 25.6 cfu/m3 (range, 1.67–157 cfu/m3). MW and HR also showed higher means for total aerobic counts compared to OT. Seasonal changes were not detected in mould and bacteria levels in OT. Hospital renovation occurred during this study and OT adjacent to renovated areas were closed. A survey of TAC and FL in OT resumed when renovation was completed. We observed an outstanding increase in FL (more than 100 cfu/m3), particularly Aspergillus spp., during this period, but no significant changes in TAC were observed after renovation.
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