Contamination of indoor environment and air conditioning

S. Heinemann, G. Van. houte, N. Nolard


An office employee revealed allergic symptoms linked to his presence on his work place. A study on the fungal contamination of air and surfaces in the premise and in the air conditioning installation was realized. Air was sampled with RCS device (Biotest, HS medium), surfaces with Rodac plates (ca 25cm2, malt agar medium + chloramphenicol). The first survey in March 93 demonstrated an abnormal contamination in the room by several species of genus Aspergillus: A. ustus, A. versicolor, A. nicer, A. candidus and A. .sp. constituting 85% of the colonies. The important contamination of fans by A. fumigatus (more than 50 colonies on each Rodac plate) was also pointed out. Allergic tests (rast) confirmed the sensitization of the employee to Asper illus and cleaning of the air conditioning system (August 93) lead the symptoms to disappear. A second sampling in December 93 showed that less than 10% of the; colonies belonged to Aspergillus genus. They were about 1% in August 94 just after a new cleaning. We also followed the contamination of the fans by A. fumigatus from August 94 till December 94. During this period, the fans were repeatedly cleaned. It appears that fungal spores are not necessarily removed by cleaning the fans. Even scratching and painting them, to eliminate rust and restore a smooth surface on which fungal spores cannot be retained, does not permit decontamination.

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Full conference title: 

The 2nd Meeting of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology
    • ECMM 2nd (1995)