Use of (1-3)-beta-d-glucan concentrations in dust as a surrogate method for estimating specific fungal exposures.
ABSTRACT Indoor exposure to fungi has been associated with respiratory symptoms,often attributed to their cell wall component, (1-3)-beta-D-glucan. Performing(1-3)-beta-D-glucan analysis is less time consuming and labor intensive than cultivation or microscopic counting of fungal spores. This has prompted many to use(1-3)-beta-D-glucan as a surrogate for fungal exposure. The aim of this study was to examine which indoor fungal species are major contributors to the (1-3)-beta-D-glucan concentration in field dust samples. We used the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) method to analyze 36 indoor fungal species in 297 indoor dust samples. These samples were also simultaneously analyzed for (1-3)-beta-D-glucan concentration using the endpoint chromogenic Limulus Amebocyte lysate assay. Linear regression analysis, followed by factor analysis and structural equation modeling, were utilized in order to identify fungal species that mostly contribute to the (1-3)-beta-D-glucan concentration in field dust samples. The study revealed that Cladosporium and Aspergillus genera, as well as Epicoccum nigrum, Penicillium brevicompactum and Wallemia sebi were the most important contributors to the (1-3)-beta-D-glucan content of these home dust samples. The species that contributed most to the (1-3)-beta-D-glucan concentration were also the most prevalent in indoor environments. However, Alternaria alternata, a common fungal species in indoor dust, did not seem to be a significant source of (1-3)-beta-D-glucan. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study revealed that the (1-3)-beta-D-glucan content of different fungal species varies widely. (1-3)-beta-D-glucan inhouse dust from the Greater Cincinnati area may be a good marker for some fungal species of the Cladosporium and Aspergillus genera. In contrast, Alternaria alternata did not contribute much to the (1-3)-beta-D-glucan load. Therefore, (1-3)-beta-D-glucan concentration in field samples as a surrogate for total fungal exposure should be used with caution.
- SourceAvailable from: Gurjit K Khurana Hershey[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The results of a traditional visual mold inspection were compared to a mold evaluation based on the Relative Moldiness Index (RMI). The RMI is calculated from mold-specific quantitative PCR (MSQPCR) measurements of the concentration of 36 species of molds in floor dust samples. These two prospective mold evaluations were used to classify the mold condition in 271 homes of infants. Later, the development of respiratory illness was measured in the infants living in these homes and the predictive value of each classification system was evaluated. The binary classification of homes as either moldy or non-moldy by on-site visual home inspection was not predictive of the development of respiratory illness (wheeze and/or rhinitis) (P=0.27). Conversely, a method developed and validated in this paper, using the RMI index fit to a logistic function, can be used to predict the occurrence of illness in homes and allows stake-holders the choice among various levels of risk.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 02/2007; 17(1):88-94. · 3.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Moulds are present in a variety of environments and aerosols of fungal spores are generated when mouldy materials are handled. Molds contain (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan, a polyglucose which is present in the cell wall of fungi, certain bacteria and plants. This study was undertaken to investigate the cellular inflammatory response in the lung after inhalation of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan and bacterial endotoxin. Guinea pigs were exposed daily to an aerosol of pure (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan and pure endotoxin for five weeks. Lung lavage and lung interstitial cell preparations were done and the inflammatory cells counted. Histological sections were prepared from the trachea. There was an increase in eosinophil numbers in lung lavage, lung interstitium, and the airway epithelium of animals exposed to (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan. In animals simultaneously exposed to endotoxin, there was no increase in eosinophils. In the lung interstitium, (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan exposure caused an increase in lymphocytes, which was not found after endotoxin exposure. Endotoxin exposure caused an increase in neutrophils and macrophages in lung lavage, which was not found after (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan exposure. The results support previous findings that (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan causes a different response in the airways as compared to endotoxin. Endotoxin modulated the increase in eosinophils caused by (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan exposure, suggesting a complex interaction between the microbial cell wall components.Mediators of Inflammation 02/2001; 10(1):13-9. · 3.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies of allergic rhinitis in children have not documented the environmental risk factors for infants at age one. We examined the relationship of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and visible mold exposures on the development of allergic rhinitis, rhinitis and upper respiratory infection (URI) in a birth cohort where at least one parent was skin prick test (SPT) positive. ETS exposure and upper respiratory symptoms were obtained by questionnaires. Visible mold was classified as none, low or high during home visit. Infants had a SPT at age one. After adjustment for potential confounders, exposure to >20 cigarettes per day was associated with an increased risk of developing allergic rhinitis at age one [odds ratio (OR)=2.7; 95% CI 1.04-6.8] and rhinitis symptoms during the first year (OR=1.9; 95% CI 1.1-3.2). Infants with low (OR=1.5; 95% CI 1.1-2.3) or high (OR=5.1; 95% CI 2.2-12.1) levels of visible mold in their homes were more likely to have more frequent URI during the first year. Older siblings were protective for development of both rhinitis symptoms and allergic rhinitis. This study suggests that ETS exposure, rather than visible mold, is associated with rhinitis and allergic rhinitis in infants. The analysis also suggests that mold may be a stronger risk factor for URI that ETS.Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 06/2006; 17(4):278-84. · 3.38 Impact Factor