Bioaerosols in Wastewater Treatment Plants: Trends, Recent Advances, and the Influence of SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak

Raisa Jabeen, Mahmoud E. Ahmed, Mohamed A. Hamouda, Ashraf Aly Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bioaerosol emission at various WWTP treatment units has drawn attention due to their potential negative impacts on human health. This study conducted a bibliometric analysis of the global research on bioaerosol emissions from WWTPs from 1995 to 2022. The Scopus database was used to identify relevant articles and research trends, major contributors in the field, and recent developments. The study examined 122 articles in the field of bioaerosols in WWTPs. The analysis findings showed that publications and citations peaked in 2022, with values of 25 and 818, respectively. At the beginning of the study period, the USA, Poland, and Italy led the publications’ ranking, but with time, China emerged as the most influential country in the field. Recent advances in the field have revealed that spectral intensity bioaerosol sensors have contributed to the faster and more reliable identification and classification of bioaerosols. It was also observed that probabilistic techniques relying on mathematical models and assumptions to ascertain the risks associated with bioaerosols may result in false interpretations. Despite their high cost, epidemiological studies were best for assessing plant workers’ health risks. The outbreak has raised questions about accurately evaluating and modeling SARS-CoV-2 persistence, infectivity, and aerosolization over WWTP sites and environmental factors. Finally, the study highlighted the potential of three control treatment approaches: carbon absorption, UV irradiation, and ozone treatments, which proved efficient in reducing bioaerosol emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4208
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • bibliometric analysis
  • bioaerosols
  • wastewater treatment plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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