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Concept: Vojvodina


Leishmaniasis in Serbia was an endemic disease, and is considered to be eradicated for more than 40 years. In the past decade sporadic cases of canine leishmaniasis started to emerge for the first time in Vojvodina Province (previously non-endemic region of Serbia). Reports of introduced, and later on autochthonous cases of leishmaniasis alerted the possibility of disease emergence. The aim of this study was to bridge more than a half a century wide gap in entomological surveillance of sand fly vectors in Vojvodina, as well as to verify the presence of the vector species that could support Leishmania spp. circulation.

Concepts: Malaria, Mosquito, Leishmaniasis, Leishmania, Phlebotominae, Canine leishmaniasis, Phlebotomus, Vojvodina


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


Chronic ethyl alcohol consuming is well known independent negative predictor of unfavorable natural course and therapy outcome of Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) infection.

Concepts: Ethanol, Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Serbia, Vojvodina, Novi Sad


Different populations show variation in the pattern of change in craniofacial dimensions over time. Earlier studies of craniofacial traits in the Republic of Serbia were carried out without any particular reference to secular changes.

Concepts: Serbs, Serbia, Kosovo, Pannonian Plain, Syrmia, Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro


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


Waters are among to the most vulnerable environmental resources exposed to the impact of various point and non-point pollutants from rural/urban activities. Systematic and long-term monitoring of hydro-resources is therefore of crucial importance for sustainable water management, although such practice is lacking across many (agro-)hydro-ecosystems. In the presented study, for the first time, the spatial distribution (covering almost 9000 ha) and temporal variation (2006-2013) in certain quality parameters was characterized in drainage watercourses Tatarnica and Subic, whose catchment is rural and suburban areas close to the city of Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia. Based on majority of observed parameters, both watercourses belonged to I and II water quality classes, with occasional presence of certain parameters (e.g., suspended solids, total phosphorus; ammonium) at extreme values exacerbating both watercourses to classes IV and V. The value of the synthetic pollution index (i.e., a combined effect of all considered parameters) showed a higher degree of water pollution in watercourse Subic (on average 2.00) than Tatarnica (on average 0.72). Also, cluster analysis for watercourse Tatarnica detected two groups of parameters (mostly related to nutrients and organic matter), indicating more complex impacts on water quality during the observed period, in which elucidation thus established water quality monitoring program would be of great importance.

Concepts: Water, Serbia, Water quality, Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro, Fruška Gora


Equine arteritis virus (EAV) is responsible for infections in equids. It can spread easily within the horse population and has a major impact on the horse breeding industry. No EAV outbreak has ever been reported in Serbia. To determine whether EAV is nonetheless circulating there, especially in the Vojvodina region, 340 horse serum samples were subjected to serology testing to detect EAV antibodies. In parallel, semen samples from three seropositive stallions were collected to evaluate their EAV status, using RT-qPCR and virus isolation on cell culture.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Bacteria, Horse, Serology, Equidae, Vojvodina, Horse breeding


This is the first comprehensive study on the occurrence of 940 semi-volatile organic compounds including sterols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, plasticizers, and other emerging compounds in 10 river and canal sediments collected in northern Serbia. For quantification of investigated compounds GC-MS-MS (selected reaction monitoring) and GC-MS (using both selected ion monitoring and total ion monitoring) methods were used. The number of detected compounds was in the range of 85-117, while the sum of the concentrations varied from 959 μg/kg dry-wt to 84,445 μg/kg dry-wt. Sterols were quantified with high frequency in nearly 100% of investigated samples suggesting that the studied rivers and canals have been contaminated by sewage. Regarding persistent organic compounds, p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD, and o,p'-DDT were the dominant members of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). The concentration range of 11 quantified pesticides of 452 analyzed was from 0.564 to 61.6 μg/kg dry-wt, while the concentration range of 47 quantified PCBs of 90 analyzed was from 0.928 to 32.1 μg/kg dry-wt. OCPs (DDE, DDD, and γ-HCH) and several PAHs (fluoranthene, pyrene, phenanthrene, chrysene, benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene) exceeded the maximum values of the sediment quality guidelines. Contents of domestic compounds comprise a large proportion of the total contaminant concentration. Overall, the study reveals that river sediments in Vojvodina Province were moderately polluted mainly by domestic wastewater. The toxic equivalent quantity (TEQ) relative to benzo(a)pyrene and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin for seven carcinogenic PAHs and six quantified dioxin-like PCBs ranged from 3.59 to 103 μg TEQ/kg and from 0.001 × 10(-3) to 2.10 × 10(-3) μg TEQ/kg, respectively, and were in the range or lower than the literature published data.

Concepts: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, River, Serbia, Polychlorinated biphenyl, Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, Pyrene, Danube, Vojvodina