Occupational exposure to microorganisms at wastewater treatment plants and biowaste plants

Målgruppe:Biology, Biochemistry

Occupational exposure to microorganisms at wastewater treatment plants and biowaste plants

Master’s project at the National Research Centre for Working Environment

Employees working with waste collection and wastewater treatment can be exposed to high concentrations of bacteria and fungi which can pose a health risk for the employees. In this project, you will collect air samples at wastewater treatment plants and biowaste plants, measuring the personal exposure levels to bioaerosols as well as the concentrations in different areas of the plants. The aim is to assess the exposure levels of bacteria and fungi. You will determine the microbial concentrations in CFU, identify the different species using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and possibly by applying next generation sequencing (NGS). Further analyses can be included such as testing the resistance of the microorganisms to treatment with antibiotics, measure the total inflammatory potential (TIP) of the samples using human cells and determine the biofilm-forming capacities of the microorganisms. The idea is to investigate differences between wastewater treatment plants and biowaste plants.

If you have other ideas for the project or wish to do certain analyses, you are welcome to contact us to discuss further.

It is possible for two students to work together on this project.

Contact: Anne Mette Madsen, senior researcher, amm@nfa.dk ; Pil Uthaug Rasmussen, postdoc, pur@nfa.dk ; or Signe Agnete Møller, PhD student, sag@nfa.dk

Anvendte metoder:MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and Next generation sequencing (NGS)
Projekthjemmeside: https://www1.bio.ku.dk/english/research/microbiology/
Vejleder(e): Mette Burmølle