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Concept: Belgrade


Concentrations of ten heavy elements (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn), as well as the pH values, organic matter contents, and electrical conductivities were measured in the surface soil samples collected from 21 sites of urban areas in the city of Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia, its suburban settlement and the nearby villages. Range of the heavy element concentrations was from 0.16 mg/kg (for Hg) to 18,994 mg/kg (for Fe). Significantly higher Hg and Mn concentrations were observed in subgroups with rural and market garden samples in comparison to the subgroups with urban and grassland samples, respectively, while the contents of Pb found in the grasslands subgroup were significantly higher than in the subgroup with market garden soils. Only one sample of urban soil exceeded the maximum permissible value for Zn set by the relevant Serbian legislation. According to the Dutch soil quality standard, the Cd and Co concentrations in majority of the examined soils were higher than the target values for unpolluted soil. The content of Hg was above the target value in 52% of the samples, most of them belonging to the subgroup of market garden soils. The results for the Novi Sad city area were compared to the relevant data available for other cities in the Western Balkan Countries. Principal component analysis of data revealed seven outlying samples, while the rest of the analyzed samples were grouped together indicating similar heavy element patterns most probably due to mixed emission sources.

Concepts: City, Serbs, Serbia, Town, Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro


This study focuses on the issues related to the waste management in river ports in general and, particularly, in ports on the river Danube’s flow through Serbia. The ports of Apatin, Bezdan, Backa Palanka, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Smederevo, Veliko Gradiste, Prahovo and Kladovo were analyzed. The input data (number of watercrafts, passengers and crew members) were obtained from harbor authorities for the period 2005-2009. The quantities of solid waste generated on both cruise and cargo ships are considered in this article. As there is no strategy for waste treatment in the ports in Serbia, these data are extremely valuable for further design of equipment for waste treatment and collection. Trends in data were analyzed and regression models were used to predict the waste quantities in each port in next 3 years. The obtained trends could be utilized as the basis for the calculation of the equipment capacities for waste selection, collection, storage and treatment. The results presented in this study establish the need for an organized management system for this type of waste, as well as suggest where the terminals for collection, storage and treatment of solid waste from ships should be located.

Concepts: Serbia, Waste, Danube, Syrmia, Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Ba ka


Pikeperch (Sander lucioperca), European catfish (Silurus glanis), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), and gobies (Neogobius gymnotrachelus, Neogobius melanostomus) were collected from the Danube River (Belgrade section), and samples of liver, muscle, or whole-body composites (in the case of gobies) were analyzed for As, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, and Zn with inductively coupled plasma optical spectrometry to find out if there was a correlation between accumulation of these elements in predatory and prey species, as well as in pairs of species with overlapping diets. Concentrations of all analyzed elements were either higher (Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) in liver than in muscle, or equal (As, Hg), except for Hg in carp, which was higher in muscle. Mercury concentration in liver and muscle of predators (catfish, pikeperch) was significantly (<10(-4)) higher than in prey fishes (carp and gobies). The results indicate that Hg concentration was biomagnified through the food chain. Concentrations of As, Fe, and Hg in carp liver and gobies whole-body composite were similar, but carp had significantly (<10(-4)) higher values of Zn and Cu in liver. The regression analysis and trendline equations indicate that the concentrations of all tested elements, except for As in liver, and Mn and Fe in muscle, were similar in predatory fish (pikeperch and catfish), on one hand, and in prey fish (carp and gobies), on the other hand. Distinctly high Zn concentration in carp is very common in this species due to its physiology. Concentrations of Hg and Zn were higher than the maximum acceptable concentration due to the high pollution level in this section of the Danube River, accordingly posing a risk for the human consumption of these fish species.

Concepts: Fish, Predation, Serbia, Aquaculture, Danube, Wels catfish, Belgrade, Sava


The spread of farming out of the Balkans and into the rest of Europe followed two distinct routes: an initial expansion represented by the Impressa and Cardial traditions, which followed the Northern Mediterranean coastline; and another expansion represented by the LBK tradition, which followed the Danube River into Central Europe. While genomic data now exist from samples representing the second migration, such data have yet to be successfully generated from the initial Mediterranean migration. To address this, we generated the complete genome of a 7,400 year-old Cardial individual (CB13) from Cova Bonica in Vallirana (Barcelona), as well as partial nuclear data from five others excavated from different sites in Spain and Portugal. CB13 clusters with all previously sequenced early European farmers and modern-day Sardinians. Furthermore, our analyses suggest that both Cardial and LBK peoples derived from a common ancient population located in or around the Balkan Peninsula. The Iberian Cardial genome also carries a discernible hunter-gatherer genetic signature that likely was not acquired by admixture with local Iberian foragers. Our results indicate that retrieving ancient genomes from similarly warm Mediterranean environments such as the Near East is technically feasible.

Concepts: Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Belgrade


The incidence of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in the Clinical Center of Serbia (CCS) and the entire Serbia has been constantly rising in the previous 5 years. We aimed to study C. difficile PCR-ribotypes isolated from patients hospitalized at two healthcare institutions: CCS and Specialized Hospital for Cerebrovascular Diseases “Sveti Sava” (SS), both of them from Belgrade, and to investigate the incidence rates of CDI in hospital settings in Serbia, from 2009 to 2013.

Concepts: Hospital, Infection, Serbs, Clostridium difficile, Belgrade, Serbian Orthodox Church


The aim of this study was to estimate mortality and survival in a large cohort of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients from Belgrade, Serbia during the period 1979-2008.

Concepts: Demography, Myasthenia gravis, Serbia, Belgrade


Antimicrobial resistance and inappropriate use of antibiotics in children are important issues. Consequently, there is a need to develop comprehensive stewardship programs even in hospitals with limited resources starting with children’s hospitals.

Concepts: Bacteria, Antibiotic resistance, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Balkans, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Belgrade


Information on the long-term outcome of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is limited.

Concepts: Europe, Germany, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Central Europe, Hungary, Poland, Belgrade


Having in mind that there is a general lack of monitoring plans and precaution measures in the developing countries and that the Danube is the second longest river in Europe, the estimation of the relevant concentration levels of unregulated xenobiotics is a topic of interest both on local and international level. The selected pharmaceuticals, caffeine, and benzotriazole presented in the collected water samples from seven representative locations around the territory of Novi Sad, Serbia, during 1-year period, were analyzed with the use of solid-phase extraction followed by the liquid chromatography coupled with triple quad tandem mass spectrometry. The most frequently detected compounds were caffeine and carbamazepine in the concentrations up to 621 and 22.2 ng/L, respectively, while the maximum concentration of the analyzed pharmaceuticals was obtained for ibuprofen (60.1 ng/L). The presence of benzotriazole along the analyzed section of the river was confirmed in the concentration levels up to 26.7 ng/L. Although sulfamethoxazole and desmethyldiazepam were detected at trace levels (0.22 and 3.41 ng/L, respectively); the presence of these pharmaceuticals in complex mixtures should not be neglected. Due to the frequent detection caffeine, carbamazepine, ibuprofen, and benzotriazole could be proper candidate for hydrophilic anthropogenic markers for quantification of wastewater contamination in surface water in the analyzed Danube section.

Concepts: River, Analytical chemistry, Serbia, Romania, Danube, Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Belgrade


This paper presents an application of experimental design for the optimization of artificial neural network (ANN) for the prediction of dissolved oxygen (DO) content in the Danube River. The aim of this research was to obtain a more reliable ANN model that uses fewer monitoring records, by simultaneous optimization of the following model parameters: number of monitoring sites, number of historical monitoring data (expressed in years), and number of input water quality parameters used. Box-Behnken three-factor at three levels experimental design was applied for simultaneous spatial, temporal, and input variables optimization of the ANN model. The prediction of DO was performed using a feed-forward back-propagation neural network (BPNN), while the selection of most important inputs was done off-model using multi-filter approach that combines a chi-square ranking in the first step with a correlation-based elimination in the second step. The contour plots of absolute and relative error response surfaces were utilized to determine the optimal values of design factors. From the contour plots, two BPNN models that cover entire Danube flow through Serbia are proposed: an upstream model (BPNN-UP) that covers 8 monitoring sites prior to Belgrade and uses 12 inputs measured in the 7-year period and a downstream model (BPNN-DOWN) which covers 9 monitoring sites and uses 11 input parameters measured in the 6-year period. The main difference between the two models is that BPNN-UP utilizes inputs such as BOD, P, and PO43-, which is in accordance with the fact that this model covers northern part of Serbia (Vojvodina Autonomous Province) which is well-known for agricultural production and extensive use of fertilizers. Both models have shown very good agreement between measured and predicted DO (with R2 ≥ 0.86) and demonstrated that they can effectively forecast DO content in the Danube River.

Concepts: Artificial intelligence, Serbia, Artificial neural network, Danube, Syrmia, Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Belgrade