Monitoring of airborne fungal spore load in relation to meteorological factors, air pollutants and allergic symptoms in Farakka, an unexplored biozone of eastern India

Author: 

Shipra Roy, Arindom Chakraborty, Saibal Maitra, Kashinath Bhattacharya
Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Aug;189(8):370.

Abstract: 

Fungi are important components of atmosphere which play a major role in causing respiratory allergy upon inhalation. An airborne fungalspore survey was carried out in two outdoor environments in Farakka-an unexplored township covering the National Thermal Power Station, West Bengal, India for a period of 2 years (October 2013 to September 2015). A Burkard personal volumetric air sampler was used at 15 days interval to collect the total fungal spore load. A fungal spore calendar has been prepared depicting monthly average sporeconcentration in the air. The relationships between fungal spore concentration and different climatic factors were analysed statistically. Higher concentration levels of aerospora and pollutants were recorded during winter season. A detailed questionnaire was used to obtain medical history data of 523 local patients visiting the outpatients department of Farakka NTPC (National Thermal Power Station) hospital. A significant positive correlation was found between fungal spore concentration, atmospheric pollutants and allergic manifestation. The dominant fungal spores were isolated, sub-cultured and tested for allergenic potential by skin prick tests (SPTs) among subjects with clinical history of respiratory allergy, which evoked ˃45.0% skin reactivity upon individuals.

KEYWORDS:

Aeromycoflora; Air pollutants; Allergic symptoms; Burkard sampling; Farakka; India; Meteorological factors; West Bengal