Fungal Presence in Typical Midwest Homes

C.S. Barnes, K. Wagoner, F. HU, L.D. Johnson, K. Kennedy, J.M. Portnoy

Author address: 

Allergy/Asthma/Immunology, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO


RATIONALE: Fungi are in nearly all indoor environments. The number and genera of indoor fungi in typical households is in question. Our aim is to investigate fungal levels in typical Midwest homes. METHODS: Subject households were recruited from the Kansas City area. Parents of asthmatic children referred friends whose children had no respiratory disease. Households containing minimum 3 persons (at least one child) without history of respiratory disease (asthma, etc) were enrolled. Non-viable and viable air samples were taken. Dust samples were taken for evaluation of fungal allergens by immunoassay. RESULTS: There were 20 homes recruited and 19 were sampled. There was an average of 3.7 persons per household. Most of the homes were single family with basements. All were heated with gas forced air, 90% had central air and about 45% of the floor space was carpeted. Cladosporium was the most common viable spore (100% of homes) and Aspergillus/Penicillium was the most numerous viable spore (median 134 CFU/ M3). Cladosporium was the most common non-viable spore (100% of homes) and the most numerous spore type (mean 500/ M3). The mean of the mean spore level for all collections in these homes was 1043/ M3 with a 95% CI of 274 to 1811. Detectable levels of Cladosporium, Aspergillus and Penicillium antigenic material was found in all dust samples. CONCLUSIONS: There is a low but ubiquitous level of fungal spores in typical homes from the Midwestern US. The upper end of the 95% CI for nonviable spores in these houses is around 2000/ M3.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

2006 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Annual Meeting
    • AAAAI 2006 (62nd)