CORRELATION BETWEEN CLASSROOM POPULATION, VENTILATION BACTERIAL LOADS AND THIER ANTIMICROBIAL PATTERNS IN SCHOOLS WITHIN IKOT EKPENE, NIGERIA
Indoor air of classroom in eight schools (4 nursery; NS1, NS2, NS3 and NS4, and 4 secondaries; SS1, SS2, SS3 and SS4) within Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, were analyzed at ambient and populated sampling conditions using natural sedimentation on nutrient agar medium. The results revealed varying ventilation patterns in each of the classrooms, and the following airborne bacterial counts; NS1 (16.6 cfu/m3), NS2 (13.3 cfu/m3), NS3 (23.3 cfu/m3), NS4 (33.3 cfu/m3), SS1 (6.6 cfu/m3), SS2 (6.6 cfu/m3), SS3(28.3 cfu/m3) and SS4 (15 cfu/m3) at ambient sampling and 40 cfu/m3, 41.6 cfu/m3, 58.3 cfu/m3, 68.3 cfu/m3, 6.6 cfu/m3, 31.6 cfu/m3, 56.6 cfu/m3 and 25 cfu/m3 respectively at populated sampling. Bacterial isolates identified were Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Rothia, Kurthia, Corynebacterium, Pseudomonas, Brevibacterium, and Flavobacterium. Statistical analysis of the results revealed negative relationships between class area and aerobic plate counts (p>0.05), class population and aerobic plate count (p>0.805), and significant increase in aerobic plate counts at populated conditions over that at ambient conditions (p<0.05). The results therefore point to the dimensions of classrooms, ventilation and population of the classrooms as important factors in determining the bacterial air quality, and invariably affecting the health condition of students.