B3.4 BIOMONITORING OF THE ENVIRONMENT

B3.4.1 Monitoring of Lyme borreliosis and meningoencephalitis agents in ticks

In 2006 the monitoring of up-to-date percentage of ticks infected with the aetiological agents of Lyme borreliosis and meningoencephalitis in the selected areas on the territory of Prague continued. The monitoring is purposefully aimed at the monitoring of activity of natural infection focuses under the Capital City conditions.

The tick specimens collecting was performed by flagging at the selected localities by workers of the Department of Epidemiology of the Public Heath Authority of the City of Prague in the co-operation with personnel of the Municipal Public Health Authority, branches of Centre, South, West, East, and North. Testing was carried out by the Reference Laboratory for Lyme borreliosis of the SZÚ, Prague and the Reference Laboratory for Arboviruses of the Regional Public Health Authority in Ostrava.

Climatic conditions in 2006 again affected the biological development cycle of ticks, namely in summer months when the fluctuating weather conditions prevailed. The laboratories received the required number of tick specimens in every stadium of their development to carry out examination for meningoencephalitis (the basic number is 40 nymphs, 20 females, 10 males) while for testing for Lyme borreliosis samples with smaller number of tick specimens were received.

The results of the examinations for the presence of aetiological agent of Lyme borreliosis in ticks acquired by microscopic investigation showed average presence in 9.18 % pursuant to the written report of the National Reference Laboratory for Lyme borreliosis of the SZÚ, Prague.

Results of the continuous examination of ticks for the presence of tick-transmitted meningoencephalitis virus were positive for adult populations at the localities Prague 4, Kunratice – Zelené domky, where 10 females were found positive. Rest of the localities demonstrated negative results. Up-to-date results are available at the Internet pages of the Public Heath Authority of the City of Prague (www.hygpraha.cz).

The results demonstrate the prevention is necessary (as wearing suitable clothes, applying repellents, early removal of sucking ticks, including disinfection of the sucking place, and vaccination) if aforementioned localities are visited. The vaccination is carried out by the National Institute for Public Health or primary care physicians and the autumn season is the best time to get the first dose of the vaccine administered.

Tab. B3.7 Percentage of ticks infected with aetilological agent of meningoencephalitis – localities provided by the Department of Epidemiology of the Public Health Authority of Prague in 2006

Lokalita
Locality

Datum
Date

Samice
Females

Samci
Males

Nymfy
Nymphs

Celkem
Total

P8, Ďáblický háj

2. 5. 2006

50

40

20

110

výsledky / results

5x10-neg.

2x20-neg.

20-neg.

110

P9, Sata1ická obora

3. 5. 2006

14

20

40

74

výsledky / results

14-neg.

20-neg.

40-neg.

74

P9, Klánovický les

4. 5. 2006

10

13

50

73

výsledky / results

10-neg.

13-neg.

50-neg.

73

DDD – Divoká Šárka

22. 5. 2006

13

16

80

109

výsledky / results

13-neg.

16-neg.

40-neg.
40-neg.

109

P10, Hostivař

24. 5. 2006

20

20

50

90

výsledky / results

2x10-neg.

20-neg.

50-neg.

90

P4, Kunratický les

5. 6. 2006

11

27

85

123

výsledky / results

11-neg.

27-neg.

43-neg.
42-neg.

123

P4, Točná

6. 6. 2006

23

25

164

212

výsledky / results

10-neg.
13-neg.

25-neg.

3x40-neg.
44-neg.

212

P4, Milíčovský les

7. 6. 2006

23

14

54

91

výsledky / results

10-neg.
13-neg.

14-neg.

54-neg.

91

P4, Kunratický les –
U Labutě

13. 6. 2006

17

22

49

88

výsledky / results

10-neg.
7-neg.

22-neg.

49-neg.

88

P4, Kunratický les –
Globus

14. 6. 2006

55

54

59

168

výsledky / results

5x10-neg.
5-neg.

2x20-neg.
14-neg.

40-neg.
19-neg.

168

P4, Kunratický les –
Zelené domky

19. 6. 2006

53

37

38

128

výsledky / results

10-pozit!-(18,86 %)
3x10-neg.
13-neg.

20-neg.
17-neg.

38-neg.

128

Source: HS HMP

Tab. B3.8 Percentage of ticks infected with aetilological agent of Lyme borreliosis – localities provided by the Department of Epidemiology of the Public Health Authority of Prague in 2006

Lokalita
Locality

Datum
Date

Počet odběrů
Number
of samplings

Samice
Females

Samci
Males

Nymfy
Nymphs

Celkem
Total

% pozit.
positive

DDD – Praha 1, Petřín

10. 5. 2006

1

3

5

21

29

 

výsledky / results

 

neg.

neg.

2 pos.

 

6,89

P5, Radotín, Velký Háj

15. 5. 2006

1

16

19

23

58

 

výsledky / results

 

2 pos.

1 pos.

1 pos.

 

6,89

P9, Horní Počernice

16. 5. 2006

1

3

12

1

16

 

výsledky / results

 

neg.

2 pos.

neg.

 

12,50

P7, Letná

22. 5. 2006

1

10

4

2

16

 

výsledky / results

 

1 pozit

neg.

neg.

 

6,25

P10, Hostivař

24. 5. 2006

1

20

20

50

90

 

výsledky / results

 

2 pos.

1 pos.

5 pos.

 

8,88

P6, Obora Hvězda

29. 5. 2006

1

5

7

58

70

 

výsledky / results

 

neg.

1 pos.

6 pos.

 

10,00

P4, Kunratický Les

7. 6. 2006

1

34

25

127

186

 

výsledky / results

 

5 pos.

4 pos.

9 pos.

 

9,67

DDD – P6, Divoká
Šárka

14. 6. 2006

1

11

9

75

95

 

výsledky / results

 

3 pos.

1 pos.

6 pos.

 

10,52

P4, Točná II

15. 6. 2006

1

9

14

81

104

 

výsledky / results

 

neg.

I pos.

neg.

 

0,96

P3, Pražačka

15. 6. 2006

1

26

25

8

59

 

výsledky / results

 

3 pos.

2 pozit

2 pos.

 

11,86

P5, Pod Kesnerkou

15. 6. 2006

1

8

5

6

19

 

výsledky / results

 

1 pos.

neg.

neg.

 

5,26

P7, Stromovka

19. 6. 2006

1

6

7

52

65

 

výsledky / results

 

neg.

neg.

2 pos.

 

3,07

PS, Barandov
(Klukovice) Prokopák

19. 6. 2006

1

22

20

13

55

 

výsledky / results

 

3 pos.

2 pos.

1 pos.

 

10,90

P4, Klánova – u dg. úst.

20. 6. 2006

1

7

10

5

22

 

výsledky / results

 

1 pos.

2 pos.

neg.

 

13,63

DDD – Petřín, Praha 1

22. 6. 2006

1

5

2

15

22

 

výsledky / results

 

1 pos.

2-neg.

2 pos.

 

13,63

P4, Kunratický les

11. 9. 2006

1

17

17

6

40

 

výsledky / results

 

4-pos.

2-pos.

6-neg.

 

15,00

P9, Klánovický les
(za golfovým hřištěm)

12. 9. 2006

1

2

4

20

26

 

výsledky / results

 

1-pos.

4-neg.

2-pos.

 

11,53

P4, Milíčovský les

13. 9. 2006

1

3

1

60

64

 

výsledky / results

 

1-pos.

1-neg.

4-pos.

 

7,81

Source: HS HMP


B3.4.2 Aerobiological monitoring of air in Prague

Since the 1960s the network of monitoring stations, enabling on the basis of mutual results comparison to make the predictions of the pollen season more precise, become to grow fast in Europe. The pollen season course is slightly different every year. The reason for is the various weather conditions and so phenological conditions in respective year, namely the development in average daily temperature and humidity. Furthermore, in respective years the intensity of pollen season is different in various species of flora, that the amount of pollen, which certain plant species growing over the area release into air and which thus may affect the level of troubles to an allergic person. Czechoslovakia joined the network of the European Pollen Information Service in 1992. In 2006 there were in total ten monitoring stations of the Pollen Information Service operated on the territory of the Czech Republic.

The Prague Pollen Monitoring Station was put into operation in March 1993. Till June 1995 the Monitoring Station was located on the premises or the Policlinic at Karlovo Square, and then due to operational reasons it was moved into the premises of the National Institute for Public Health (SZÚ) in Šrobárova Street, Prague 10. In 2006 it was under operation from 27 February till the end of October (in time when this paper is being prepared, i.e. at the beginning of October 2004, it is still working).

During the spring period (when tree species pollen dominates) pollen grains of birch (Betula) belong to the most important aeroallergens in Prague and generally in the Czech Republic as well. Taken in a broader sense this means entire family of Betulaceae. Pollen of single species of this family feature significant cross-reactivity. Therefore, an individual allergic to one genus of this group can show clinical problems when put into contact with other members of this family. During the summer period grass (Poaceae) pollen form the most important group of aeroallergens. They also display a significant cross-reactivity among single members. Concentration of mould spores usually increases in this period too. This applies most significantly to Cladosporium and Alternaria genera. For the autumn period the dominance of weed pollen is typical, mostly mugwort (Artemisia). Pollen grains of ragweed (Ambrosia), which are important aeroallergens in Hungary, Slovakia and in part in south Moravia, have been regularly occurring in the spectrum of aeroallergens found in Prague at the end of summer and brink of autumn (see graph). With respect to the explosive spreading of ragweed throughout Europe observed during the last decades this allergen monitoring of is of prime importance. What is also necessary is to promptly implement preventive measures to eradicate ragweed from the Prague region. In August a peak concentration of mould spores usually occurs being an order of magnitude higher than concentration of all other pollen allergens.

The pollen season 2006 in Prague started relatively late again – around 20 March by blooming of hazel (Corylus) and alder (Alnus) (see graph) and lasted approximately for the same time as in the previous years till the end of September and the beginning of October. The birch (Betula) season is usually simultaneous with that of ash (Fraxinus). Birch bloomed a bit later than in the previous year, around 15 April, and its season was of average strength. It has its peak in the period from 24 April through 10 May 2006, then the airborne allergen concentration quickly decreased (see graph). In 2006 the grass (Poaceae) season started in the second half of May, within the long-term average, and was slightly under average. The main peak of the concentration of this pollen appeared from the half of June till the half of July, and grass pollen grain maximum was at the beginning of July.

In July there was average amount of grass pollen in the Prague air. Passing through several smaller peaks the air concentration of this pollen remained at the allergologically significant level till the end of July. Then the amount of airborne grass pollen was negligible, also due to the rainy August (see graph). The occurrence of mugwort (Artemisia) began to appear regularly in air in the last decade of July. Its season was very weak and attained its peak in the first half of August (see graph). On the contrary, the ragweed (Ambrosia) season in 2006 was relatively strong season. This allergen started to appear regularly in the air of Prague since the beginning of September, a significant peak was recorded from 11 to 18 September. At the time of this overview preparation (beginning of October) the ragweed season has been slowly fading (see graph). Since the second decade of September the overall airborne pollen concentration was very low only.

The graphs presented demonstrate concentrations of the most significant airborne pollen allergens in Prague air during the last six years that is since 2001 till the end of September 2006.

Fig. B3.7 Concentrations of pollen allergens in air in Prague in 2001–2006

Figure B3.7 Concentrations of pollen allergens in air in Prague in 2001–2006

Source: PIS

Fig. B3.8 Concentrations of pollen allergens in Prague in 2006

Figure B3.8 Concentrations of pollen allergens in Prague in 2006

Source: PIS

Fig. B3.9 The ragweed pollen concentration in Prague in 1993 to 2006

Figure B3.9 The ragweed pollen concentration in Prague in 1993 to 2006

Source: PIS


B3.4.3 Bioindication environmental monitoring – regular monitoring of living organisms at selected localities

Monitoring of the state of and development in environmental compartments follows numerous antropogeneous pollutants and provides by means of chemical and physical measurements information on their quality and quantity in the environment. In order to evaluate their affects on the territory population and on health risks the values measured can be compared to public health standards, which represent virtually contractual values that may often widely differ in various countries. Because under common conditions there is not only one factor or pollutant, yet a whole set of factors, the objective interpreting of the values measured from the hygiene point of view is substantially more troublesome, namely due to synergic effects – certain factors or components tend to reinforce effects of the others more, and in exceptional cases even a negative synergic effect or mutual neutralization may occur (acid rain combined with alkaline dust fallout from a cement plant, for instance).

The bioindication monitoring offers the approach the other way – it does not deal with causes yet with consequences of sets of pollutants in organisms, which may this way contribute to the evaluation of effects of local conditions also on human population and some of which more sensitive than human organism may in advance indicate hygiene risks to the population in the given environment.

The methodology applied: Repeated inventory taking is carried out of selected groups of plants and animals having significant ability to indicate in five model natural sites in Prague. Results are either descriptions of the actual status either finding of time series (trends) through the benchmarking with the previous monitoring periods.

Territories investigated:

Divoká Šárka Valley (1984, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003),
Prokopské Valley (1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004),
Pitkovice Valley and Uhřiněves Game Preserve (1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005),
Confluence of the Vltava River and the Berounka River (1986, 1991, 1996, 2001),
Troja Valley (1987, 1992, 1997, 2002).

In 2005 the Pitkovice Valley and Uhřiněves Game Preserve were investigated. Comparing these two close areas natural communities on the Pitkovice Valley, including the small scale protected area “Pitkovice Slope” appear to have higher value and being richer; the immission load from local sources as well as by the prevailing winds from Prague is lower there than that in the Uhřiněves Game Preserve. This holds especially for liverworts that belong to sensitive bioindicators of the atmospheric pollution transfer. The increase in their number in the Pitkovice Valley indicates slight improvement in the immission conditions, it can be deduced from their species representation that there is less sulphur oxides and a slight increase in nitrogen oxides from mobile sources. The Uhřiněves Game Preserve is traditionally less rich and the species composition indicates higher immission load yet, compared to the past, even there slight revitalisation was noticed.

Bryoflora (mosses and liverworts) in the Pitkovické Valley were in the meantime in between the last inventory takings partly affected by floods in 2002, one shore growth entirely vanished, the others were broken and fragmented into small islands also due to the progress of the nettle growth supported by nitrification from the increasing amount of traffic flue gas. On the contrary, in the Uhříněves Game Preserve the qualitative and quantitative increase in the number of species was found due to the area freed by the retreating ruderal flora.

Among 30 species of molluscs found in the Pitkovice Valley one species formerly present, yet missing since 1990, appeared again. This component situation in the Game Preserve is assessed as mostly steady state, nevertheless in the partial section of the Game Preserve one new species was found. Therefore a trend to moderate environmental quality improvement is indicated on both the territories.

Rather different result was obtained by the inventory taking of butterflies in the Pitkovice Valley where already in the past the decreasing trend was indicated concerning quantity, which was slowed down in the recent period yet still occurs. One, formerly not found, species was added yet.

The Uhříněves Game Preserve remains without any significant change substantially less rich than the Pitkovice Valley.

Concerning phytophagus beetles the Pitkovice Valley is also more valuable then the Game Preserve. In the time series both the territories appear as stabilised yet with prevailing adaptable and expansive species, which are less sensitive to environmental quality.

The 144 species of Carabidae beetles (with one species more compared to the state in 2000) make the Pitkovické Valley an above average quality Prague’s locality. The Game Preserve is permanently less rich in species while adaptable and expansive species prevail and that indicates worse environmental conditions yet variable in time.

Reptiles and amphibians indicate, on the contrary to the majority of other groups, adverse trends, which are, however, not related to antropogeneous environmental pollution; in this case negative factors effective here are the growing frequency in visits and number of visitors, invasive area development in the vicinity, cycling, and free roaming dogs.

Similar sources of adverse effects were found also in birds and because this part of fauna was investigated here for the first time no development trend could have be determined so far.

The synthesis of outcomes from respective inventory takings enables to state that pollution with airborne contaminants has been slightly decreasing, except for the progress in nitrophilous plants, confirming the increase in nitrogen oxides from the growing traffic.

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