RATIONALE: Fungal sensitization is a risk factor for increased asthma morbidity. Students spend a large portion of their day at school and school classrooms may be a source of fungal exposure. There are few studies that describe fungus concentrations and species diversity in inner-city school classrooms. METHODS: Airborne fungal spore samples were collected from 12 inner-city elementary schools twice during the school year over two days using a Burkard sampler. A total of 180 classroom samples were evaluated. Slides were microscopically analyzed at 1000X magnification and results were reported as spores per cubic meter of air (spores/m 3 ) for the 8-hour school day. Two 8-hour collection days were averaged for each classroom. A ’’total fungus’’ category was calculated as the sum of the geometric means of all species. RESULTS: The ’’total fungus’’ per classroom was 270.54 6 3.62 spores/ m 3 (geometric mean 6 standard deviation) and ranged from 15 to 15,845 spores/m 3 . The species with the highest concentrations included Cladosporium (33.13 63.65, range 0-1459), Penicillium/Aspergillus (26.5164.62, range 0-8585), Basidiospores (25.7668.23, range 0-11135), Smuts (18.7662.91, range 0-394), and Ascospores (13.6364.48, range 0-956). The species found most commonly in classrooms included: Cladosporium (found in 96% of rooms), Smuts (89%), Penicillium/Aspergillus (87%), Basidiospores (67%), Rusts (33%) and Alternaria (27%). CONCLUSIONS: There is variability in the concentrations and types of fungal spores found in schools.
Full conference title:
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
- AAAAI 2012 (68th)