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Fungi have been implicated as quantitatively the most important bioaerosol component of indoor air associated with contaminated air-conditioning systems. rarely, indoor fungi may cause human infections, but more commonly allergenic responses ranging from pneumonitis to asthma-like symptoms. From all air conditioner filters analyzed, 16 fungal taxa were isolated and identified. Aspergillus fumigatus causes more lethal infections worldwide than any other mold. Air-conditioning filters that adsorb moisture and volatile organics appear to provide suitable substrates for fungal colonization. It is important to stress that fungal colonization of air-conditioning systems should not be ignored, especially in hospital environments.
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Fungi inhabit nearly all terrestrial environments. In
this regard, the interiors of human dwellings and
workspaces are no exception. The mycobiota of
human-inhabited indoor environments consists of
a distinctive group of organisms that collectively are
not normally encountered elsewhere. Dust forma-
tion occurs as a result of the ongoing elutriation of
airborne organic and inorganic particulate matter
that originates from a multiplicity of indoor and
outdoor sources (S co tt , 2001). House dust is a
fibrous material composed primarily of a matrix
of textile fibers, hairs, and shed epithelial debris
(Scott, 2001). Fungi commonly isolated from indoor
air include Alternaria, Aspergillus, Aureobasidium,
Cladosporium, and Penicillium species. Many of
these species may contaminate indoor air through
heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems
(S im on s et al., 1997). It is well known that venti-
lation systems, even those without water-containing
components, may act as a potential microbial source
in indoor air (Pa sa ne n et al., 1997). Filters are
porous soft insulation material very often used in
air-conditioning systems. Direct microscopic exam-
ination of air filters reveals pollen particles, cellulose
fibers, synthetic fibers, plant hairs, decayed leaves,
insect parts, dust mites, and many organic com-
pounds (Mo r a y and Wi l l i am s, 1990). Cellulose
and synthetic fibers probably come from indoor
sources, while the other components most likely
originate from outdoor sources. Insulation materi-
als also absorb moisture and volatile organics and
provide suitable substrates for fungal colonization
(S im on s et al., 1997). These organics represent
excellent nutrients for fungal growth, with the result
that air filters harbor an abundance of fungal hyphae
and spores (Yo u n g, 1996). Dust and microorgan-
isms may accumulate in supply air ducts during
installation or later from the outdoor air due to
leakages between the filter cassette and the assembly
frame, or from insufficient efficiency of the filter
(P a s an en et al., 1997).
Human infections caused by indoor fungi are
very seldom because of the highly efficient defense
mechanisms of human cells, such as the cell-medi-
ated response (P er de l i et al., 2006). However,
conidia and fragments of hyphae may sometimes
cause allergenic responses, and some metabolites
produced by fungi may be toxic or have immu-
nomodulating activity in humans (S i mo ns et
al., 1997). Also, reduction in the host organisms
defensive ability, whether due to cancer, AIDS,
Institute of Botany and Jevremovac Botanical Garden, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Abstract — Fungi have been implicated as quantitatively the most important bioaerosol component of indoor air associ-
ated with contaminated air-conditioning systems. Rarely, indoor fungi may cause human infections, but more commonly
allergenic responses ranging from pneumonitis to asthma-like symptoms. From all air conditioner filters analyzed, 16
fungal taxa were isolated and identified. Aspergillus fumigatus causes more lethal infections worldwide than any other
mold. Air-conditioning filters that adsorb moisture and volatile organics appear to provide suitable substrates for fungal
colonization. It is important to stress that fungal colonization of air-conditioning systems should not be ignored, espe-
cially in hospital environments.
Key words: Indoor air, air-conditioning filters, micromycetes, human health
UDC 614.71:628.8:582.28
Arch. Biol. Sci., Belgrade, 60 (2), 201-206, 2008 DOI:10.2298/ABS0802201L
organ transplantation, or any other medical rea-
son, may lead to the uncontrolled multiplication of
fungi and consequent onset of infection, sometimes
with fatal effects (P er de li et al., 2006). There are
reports that four patients died and 11 contracted
the respiratory disease aspergillosis at the Alcala de
Hanares Hospital, near Madrid (Spain). The disease
was caused by inhaling the spores of Aspergillus
fumigatus, which was later detected in the hospital’s
air-conditioning system (
Samples studied
Fifteen dust samples were collected from air-
conditioning filters from school classrooms and
offices. Also, five swab samples were collected from
an air conditioner in a hospital surgical ward. None
of the analyzed filters from classrooms and offices
had been removed or cleaned for two years (Fig. 1a),
whereas those from the hospital were cleaned once
a month on a regular basis.
Direct examination
The tape lift technique used for direct examina-
tion allows for immediate determination of the pres-
ence of fungal spores and identification of the types
of fungi present. Direct examinations should only be
used to sample visible mold growth in contaminated
air-conditioning filters. Samples were collected by
pulling the tape of the filter surface with slow steady
pressure, holding only the tape edges, after which
they were put on slides for light microscopy.
Determination of total spore concentrations in dust
Culturable fungal spore concentrations are pre-
sented in terms of colony-forming units (CFU)/g of
dust. Sub-samples (0.5 g) were taken from each dust
sample and suspended in distilled water (0.0425 g/l
KH2PO4, 0.25 g/l MgSO4, 0.008 g/l NaOH, 0.02%
Tween 80 detergent). Dilution series were prepared
and three succesive dilutions were plated in tripli-
cate on malt agar medium (MA) with the antibiotic
streptomycin, which was added during the prepara-
tion process in order to prevent bacterial growth
(P a s an en et al., 1997). The plates were incubated
on 22 ± 2ºC and read after 72 to 120 hours. Fungal
colonies formed on the medium were identified
on the basis of both macroscopic and microscopic
characteristics of each isolated colony using identifi-
cation keys (A i n s wo rt h et al., 1973; A r x, 1974;
E ll i s and E l l i s , 1997; P i t t , 1979; R a pe r, and
F e n ne l 1965).
The direct examination method revealed the
presence of different fungal structures: conidia,
conidiophores, chlamidospores and mycelia (Fig. 1b-
f). From all dust samples analyzed from classrooms,
offices, and hospital air-conditionning systems, six
fungal genera with different numbers of species were
recorded: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus,
Alternaria, Epiccocum, and one Ascomycotyna from
the order Sphaeriales (Table 1). The fungal colonies
isolated from different sources were characterized
not only by the presence of different species, but also
by their different abundance (Fig. 2a). The genus
Aspergillus with five species was the most frequent
(Tabel 1, Fig. 2b, e, f). The abundance of fungal
colonies was much higher in classrooms and offices
than in the hospital. Aspergillus and Penicillium
species were dominant. Alternaria alternata and
Cladosporium cladosporioides were the most frequent
dematiaceous fungi (Fig. 2c, d). Fungal growth was
quantified by the number of CFUs. Culturable spore
concentrations in 15 dust samples varied from 104 to
106 CFU/g. In central Finland, culturable and total
fungi in dust accumulated in air ducts in single-fam-
ily houses varied from 104 to 108 CFU/g (P a sa ne n
et al., 1997).
The results of this research confirmed previous
findings that air-conditioning systems are highly
linked with fungal pollution of indoor air. The diver-
sity and abundance of fungal species isolated from
different air-conditioning systems can be attrib-
uted to different ways of maintaining the systems
themselves. Greater numbers of fungal genera and
species with much higher colony abundance were
expected and found in samples isolated from the air-
conditioning systems from classrooms and offices
since these systems were not cleaned after installa-
Fig. 1. Fungal structures from air conditioner filter dust: a) two years uncleaned air conditioner
filter; b) the conidial chain of Aspergillus ochraceus; c) conidiophores with terminal conidium of
Cladosporium sphaeospermum; d) mycelia with chlamydospores inside filter fiber; e) chlamidospore;
f) conidia of Alternaria sp.
tion (Fig. 1a). Only two fungal species were found
in samples from the hospital units, with very low
colony abundance. This result is worrying because
one of the two isolated species was Aspergillus versi-
color (Fig. 2e). Aspergillus is a large genus of fungal
molds, of which only a few species cause human
infections, most commonly A. fumigatus. Spores
from these species are widespread in the environ-
ment, occurring in soil, in dust, and in outdoor and
indoor air. Known as aspergillosus, fungal infection
with Aspergillus ranges from the benign to the fatal.
Healthy individuals usually inhale Aspergillus spores
without any untoward effects, but sometimes con-
tract relatively benign infections of the lungs and
sinuses. In susceptible compromised patients, how-
ever, inhalation leads to multiplication of the fungus
in the lungs and subsequent invasive infection that
may spread to any organ of the body. Dissemination
to the brain, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs
occurs in up to 30% of cases. The disseminated infec-
tion is usually fatal, partly because early diagnosis is
difficult and treatment often ineffective (F re nc h ,
Fig. 2. Micromycetes isolated from air conditioner filter dust: a) fungal colonies on MA;
b) Aspergillus ochraceus; c) Alternaria alternata; d) Cladosporium cladosporioides; e) As-
pergillus versicolor; f) Aspergillus fumigatus.
2005). Carpet dust samples (n = 11) contained A.
versicolor in concentrations ranging from <2.5 × 101
to 3.6 × 105 (median, 3.1 × 104) CFU/g of dust, and
the median proportion of A. versicolor in total cul-
turable fungi was 18%. Based on thin-layer chroma-
tography detection of sterigmatocystin, 49 of 50 A.
versicolor isolates (98%) where found to be toxigenic
in vitro (En ge l h a r t et al., 2002). Many Aspergillus
species are well known as potential producers of
mycotoxins and other volatile harmful compounds,
and many of them can cause aspergillosis in humans.
Hospitals and other medical facilities are places were
patients with damaged immune systems are com-
monly found. These patients are very receptive to
fungal infections. In order to avoid unwanted fungal
infections in hospitals, the air-conditioning systems
must be subjected to regular maintenance in order
to reduce potential fungal pollution.
Three features of mold biochemistry are of spe-
cial interest from the standpoint of human health.
Molds contain glucan, a compound with inflamma-
tory properties. Spores and mycelial fragments con-
tain allergens (G or ny et al., 2002). The spores of
some species contain low-molecular-weight chemi-
cals that are cytotoxic or have other toxic proper-
ties. Some molds, such as A. fumigatus, can cause
opportunistic infection in immunocompromised
and healthy individuals and severe allergic diseases,
such as asthma or cystic fibrosis (Burge, 2000). In
our previous investigations, Aspergillus species were
recorded in different substrata. Fungal spores can
spread from different sources and contaminate air
conditioning filters (K at ar a n o v s k i et al., 2007;;
L j a lj e v i ć and Vu k o j e vi ć , 1997).
Acknowledgments - The present research was funded by the
Serbian Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection
through project No. 143041.
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Fungal taxa
Alternaria alternata
Aspergillus flavus
Aspergillus fumigatus
Aspergillus niger
Aspergillus ochraceus
Aspergillus versicolor
Botrytis cinerea
Cladosporium herbarum
Cladosporium sp.
Cladosporium sp.
Epiccocum purpurascens
Mycelia sterilia
Penicillium veruccosum var. cyclopium
Penicillium spp.
Table 1. Micromycetes isolated from analyzed filter dust of air-
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Институт за ботанику и Ботаничка башта «Јевремовац», Биолошки факултет, Универзитет у Београду,
11000 Београд, Србија
Микрогљиве, као квантитативно најзначајни-
је биоаеросолне компоненте ваздуха у затворе-
ним просторијама, су чести контаминанти клима
уређаја. Оне могу изазвати алергијске реакције
типа пнеумонитиса и симптоме сличне астми, а
ређе могу бити и изазивачи хуманих инфекција.
Из анализираних клима уређаја изоловано је и
идентификовано 16 таксона микрогљива. Изо-
ловани Aspergillus fumigatus је познат коо изази-
вач леталних инфекција широм света. Филтери
клима уређаја који апсорбују влагу и органске
материје су погодан супстрат за колонизацију
микрогљивама. Веома је значајно напоменути
да се колонизација клима уређаја микрогљивама
не сме игнорисати и то нарочито у болничким
... Studies on the most commonly used filters have revealed significant bacterial and fungal moist masses carried on filters [25,26]. Recent field studies show that public building filters may present a wide variety of fungal taxa with more than 12 species [27,28]. The cooling coils also provide humid conditions for bacterial and fungal growth. ...
Full-text available
High humidity inside ductworks could be a potential risk for microbial growth and there is also a hypothesis that lower night-time ventilation increases the risk of growth. This study investigates the possibility of microbial growth in ventilation ductwork exposed to humid and cold conditions. Two different typical night-time ventilation strategies for public buildings were investigated: ventilation rate was either continuously the same (0.15 L/s, m2) or no airflow during the night-time. Experimental data were collected over a four-month period. In the experiment, microbial media was released inside the ductwork initially. During the test period, air temperature and relative humidity inside the ductwork were controlled between 11–14 °C and 70–90%. Wipe, swab and air samples were taken at the beginning, monthly and at the end of the test period. The study results showed the extinction of colonies by the end of the experiment regardless of the chosen night-time ventilation strategy. The colony count in the air was low throughout the study period. Therefore, the results indicate that the long-term growth on the walls of air ducts is unlikely and the risk of microbial transfer from the air ductworks to room space is low.
... As for black fungi, the species reported most frequently in HVAC is Alternaria alternata along with common airborne Cladosporium spp. (Ljaljević-Grbić, Vukojević, & Stupar, 2008;Kemp et al., 2003), but the prevalence in these species of unidentified Exophiala spp. has also been cited (Bakker et al., 2020). ...
The variability of individual immunity, the interaction of microbial substances in indoor air, and the performance of measurement tools make it exceedingly difficult to establish specific fungal thresholds in relation to the development of fungal diseases. However, even if one or more correlations between diseases and fungal concentrations were established, this would not mean a causal link. In this chapter, we propose to discuss the impact of molds upon human health, tools for measuring fungal exposures, major studies proposing thresholds, state guidelines for acceptable thresholds, and the issues involved in setting thresholds for risk.
... As for black fungi, the species reported most frequently in HVAC is Alternaria alternata along with common airborne Cladosporium spp. (Ljaljević-Grbić, Vukojević, & Stupar, 2008;Kemp et al., 2003), but the prevalence in these species of unidentified Exophiala spp. has also been cited (Bakker et al., 2020). ...
Fungi can cause deterioration of building materials and adverse health effects on its occupants. However, knowledge of the mycobiome (fungal biome) from the built environment is still incomplete, and most surveys available in the literature have focused on airborne molds. These molds grow on indoor damp materials and can produce abundant conidia (spores) that get easily aerosolized. From indoor environments, they can be transmitted to outdoor air and enter other buildings. One emerging fungal group that has generally been overlooked are the black yeasts, characterized by the conspicuous dark pigmentation due to melanin, and by being adapted to various extreme conditions. This chapter provides an updated review on the accounts of black fungi into the built environment and describes the most common types of extremophilic environments from where they have regularly been isolated. A total of 83 species have been compiled and analyzed in relation to their known ecophysiology and updated phylogeny. We also discuss current hypotheses for the entry and colonization of black fungi into the indoor environment, as well as their potential impacts on human health and on the deterioration of man-made materials.
... Genelde sağlıklı insanlarda çok sık görülmeyen aspergilloz, dışkulak enfeksiyonu ve ayak mantarına neden olabilir. Ancak bağışıklık sistemi zayıf kişilerde akciğerlerdeki mantar düzeyi arttığında görülen hastalık, sinir ve sindirim sistemi yanında diğer organları da etkileyebilir [32]. Aspergillozun en ağır biçimi akciğer tüberkülozuna benzer belirtiler gösteren bir alt solunum yolları enfeksiyonudur. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mantar sporlarının yapı içinde üreyerek oluşturduğu ve çoğunlukla renkli bir görünüm ve koku ile algılanan küfler, yapı kullanıcılarında bazı sağlık sorunlarına neden olabilmektedir. Yapı ve çevresinden kaynaklanan bu sağlık sorunları yapı biyolojisi bilim alanında geliştirilmiş bir irdeleme ve ilişkiler modeli ile irdelenebilir. Dış çevredeki mantar sporlarının yapı içine çeşitli şekillerde girmesiyle ortaya çıkan olumsuzluk etkeni, mantar sporlarının uygun koşullarda üremesi, küfe dönüşmesi ve iç havaya karışması ile olumsuzluğa, solunması ya da ortaya çıkan kokunun duyumsanması ile kullanıcı sağlığını bozan bir etkene ve sonuçta alerjik sorunlar, aspergilloz ve kakosmi gibi sağlık sorunlarına dönüşebilmektedir. Mantar sporlarının yapıya nasıl girdiği, hangi durumlarda küf oluşturduğu ve neden olduğu sağlık sorunlarının anlaşılmasıyla yapı tasarımcı ve kullanıcılarına sağlıklı iç çevreler konusunda katkı sağlanabileceği düşünülmektedir. Anahtar Sözcükler: Küf, Mantar Sporları, Yapı Biyolojisi, Aspergilloz, Kakosmi Molds, mostly noticed by their color and scent and produced by fungi spores which can be found in indoor environments, can cause some health problems in building users. These health problems arising from building and its environments can be investigated by an examination and relations model developed in the building biology science field. The negative features caused by fungi spores which can enter indoor environment through various ways, can create negative conditions by proliferating in proper circumstances, developing molds and becoming airborne. After inhaling or perceiving the scent, these negative conditions can cause hazardous effects and eventually health problems such as allergic reactions, aspergillosis and cacosmia. It is hoped to be useful to the building designers and users for healthy environments by providing detailed information about the infiltration ways of fungi spores, mold development conditions and health problems. Key words: Mold, Fungi Spores, Building Biology, Aspergillosis, Cacosmia
... As for black fungi, the species reported most frequently in HVAC is Alternaria alternata along with common airborne Cladosporium spp. (Ljaljević-Grbić, Vukojević, & Stupar, 2008;Kemp et al., 2003), but the prevalence in these species of unidentified Exophiala spp. has also been cited (Bakker et al., 2020). ...
Implementation of high-quality ventilation strategies play a key role in maintaining good indoor environment or indoor air quality (IAQ) in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. IAQ is important in all buildings, especially in hospitals. Hospital buildings with heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems may have an increased risk of different diseases with various symptoms, causing irritation in mucous membranes, tiredness, vertigo, dermatosis, headaches, reduced memory, decreased concentration and intellectual work ability, cancers and respiratory diseases (including asthma). The main objective of this chapter is to provide information on the ventilation strategies for maintenance of healthy IAQ in hospitals. The purpose of this chapter is the provision of useful information for both healthcare staff and mechanical engineers to minimize the risk of microbiological pathogens (bacteria and fungi) in the hospital environment, in connection with adequate ventilation systems. Clear control strategies implemented in hospital may reduce the risk of microbiological (bacterial and fungal) infections among hospital staff and patients, with the greatest risk of infection and disease caused by microorganisms from indoor air.
... When frequent, such disturbances can lead to temperature fluctuations between 9 and 14 • C in buildings, which can peak at up to 25 • C in summer. Additionally, moisture in the rooms can rise above 60% RH, causing fungal development on walls and ceilings (highly hygroscopic) [58]. Moreover, such fluctuations impact the microclimate inside plastic or metal (rusty) film cans and promote the growth of moulds on film rolls [2]. ...
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Despite controlled relative humidity in archives and private collections, fungi are a widespread cause of biodeterioration of cinematographic films and historic photographs, which represent a significant cultural and historic loss to society. Photographic emulsions and coatings are organic and hygroscopic in nature and represent a good and easily accessible source of nutrients. Because archives hold whole stacks of these materials, they subsequently contain more fungi in comparison to other enclosed spaces. This in turn generates a need for a systematic microbiological evaluation of fungi isolated from photographic documents in order to pinpoint the potentially biodeteriorative fungal species and increase awareness and control readiness when these species are encountered. With this aim, we have decided to collect data regarding fungal isolates and their biological potency from the following originating materials: gelatin cellulose triacetate or cellulose nitrate films, albumen or gelatin paper photographs, cellulose nitrate negative films, gelatin glass plate negatives and positive paper prints. In addition, the most efficient biotic degraders of gelatin binder are presented and the degradation of cellulose based supports as well as the occurring microbial interactions and the impact of inhibitory silver salts are reviewed. Lastly, based on the origins of fungal contamination and the occurrence of fungi related to allergenic and toxicogenic diseases, prevention and control measures are suggested.
... Microorganisms could be introduced to museums through transport by the workers and visitors through their bodies, clothes, and carried items or with outdoor air through natural gates such as windows and doors. Incorrectly operating the HVAC system could also be a source of increasing biological particles (Ljaljević Grbić et al. 2008;Niesler et al. 2010). ...
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Cultural property preserved in indoor environments is subjected to fungal deterioration which resulted from air biocontamination and can lead to a heavy cultural loss. This study aimed to monitor and assess the biodiversity and concentration of airborne fungi for all areas of the Grand Egyptian Museum—Conservation Center (GEM-CC), such as conservation laboratories, scientific laboratories, corridors, storerooms, and outside in each season during 2013 using the air sampler machine. Results of the quantitative analysis of fungal aerosol demonstrated that the air quality level in GEM-CC was generally acceptable, though some areas showed deviation from the threshold limit value of the GEM-CC (200 CFU m−3). Also, the fungal load in all storerooms was lower than inside the laboratories. Quantitative analysis revealed that 22 fungal species were isolated and identified. The genus Penicillium appeared with high relative distribution (42.6%), followed by Cladosporium and Aspergillus. In vitro study revealed the effectiveness of ethanol with 70% concentration, against the most common airborne fungus: Aspergillus flavus. However, the concentration rose to 95% when applying in vivo. Finally, we suppose that weekly spraying the GEM-CC environment with 95% ethanol is a protective measure for both our valuable artifacts and staff health.
... For example, black mold like Aspergillus niger could cover material surface and then change the surface into black. In addition, fungi are commonly found in air-conditioned environment [4][5]. They spread into ambient and would cause material surface damage and health effect such as allergy, asthma, and tinea [6]. ...
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Contemporary lifestyles dictate that people spend between 60 and 90% of their daily lives indoors. For those living in warm climates, air conditioning is thus considered a necessity. Air conditioners function by removing hot and humid air from building interior and replacing it with cooler air. Microorganisms are considered among the most important sources of poor quality of indoor air, and contamination of this air by microbial pollutants is being increasingly recognized as a public health problem and a probable cause of the so-called sick building syndrome. In this regard, microfiber glass panel filters are considered to provide an effective solution for air filtration and have been demonstrated to improve air quality in many applications. However, recent research has demonstrated that certain microorganisms are able to colonize panel filter surfaces. Studies on selected microbes isolated from the most commonly used filters have revealed that the bacterial and fungal moist masses carried on sponge-type filters are greater than those carried on polyester and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Moreover, microbial moist mass has been found to increase with increasing incubation time. In addition, recent research has shown that certain microorganisms, particularly fungi, can colonize the materials used in heating, ventilation, and airconditioning systems (HVAC).
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Low-temperature Technologies. Edited by: Tatiana Morosuk and Muhammad Sultan. ISBN: 978-1-83880-667-5. Print ISBN 978-1-83880-666-8. eBook (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-83880-668-2. Published: June 10th 2020.
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Air samples and swab samples of the air conditioning vents were collected from 29 automobiles in the metropolitan region of Atlanta, GA, and cultured for fungi. Among the fungi observed, species of Acremonium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, Aureobasidium, Cladosporium, and Penicillium were in the highest densities. Transparent adhesive tape imprints, SEM observations, and enrichment culture of components of five systems demonstrated fungal hyphae on the metal surfaces and within the matrix of various insulation materials. The evaporator removed from one automobile because of a series of complaints of noxious odors was densely colonized by Penicillium viridicatum. The amplification of known allergenic and odor-producing fungi occurred within the automobile air conditioning systems.
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In 15 animals (33.3%), fungi were detected in inoculations from swabs of the snout; in 20 animals (44.4%), fungal growth was detected in lung homogenate inoculations; and nine ani- mals (20.0%), fungi were detected in inoculations of both snout swabs and lung homogenates. In seven cases (15.5%), the pres- ence of fungi on nasal skin and in the lungs was coincident. In three animals, two or more fungal species were present in the lungs or on the snout. Penicillium species were the most abun- dantly represented fungi detected in inoculations of both lung homogenates (in 33.3% mof individuals) and swabs from the snout (in 13.3% of individuals). The presence of Aspergillus species was noted in lungs of 8.9% and on snouts of 8.9% of ex- amined individuals, while Paecilomyces varioti was recorded in
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The aerosolization process of fungal propagules of three species (Aspergillus versicolor, Penicillium melinii, and Cladosporium cladosporioides) was studied by using a newly designed and constructed aerosolization chamber. We discovered that fungal fragments are aerosolized simultaneously with spores from contaminated agar and ceiling tile surfaces. Concentration measurements with an optical particle counter showed that the fragments are released in higher numbers (up to 320 times) than the spores. The release of fungal propagules varied depending on the fungal species, the air velocity above the contaminated surface, and the texture and vibration of the contaminated material. In contrast to spores, the release of fragments from smooth surfaces was not affected by air velocity, indicating a different release mechanism. Correlation analysis showed that the number of released fragments cannot be predicted on the basis of the number of spores. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays with monoclonal antibodies produced against Aspergillus and Penicillium fungal species showed that fragments and spores share common antigens, which not only confirmed the fungal origin of the fragments but also established their potential biological relevance. The considerable immunological reactivity, the high number, and the small particle size of the fungal fragments may contribute to human health effects that have been detected in buildings with mold problems but had no scientific explanation until now. This study suggests that future fungal spore investigations in buildings with mold problems should include the quantitation of fungal fragments.
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Over the past decade, there has been growing concern regarding the role of toxigenic fungi in damp indoor environments; however, there is still a lack of field investigations on exposure to mycotoxins. The goal of our pilot study was to quantify the proportion of toxigenic Aspergillus versicolor isolates in native carpet dust from damp dwellings with mold problems and to determine whether sterigmatocystin can be detected in this matrix. Carpet dust samples (n = 11) contained from <2.5 × 101 to 3.6 × 105 (median, 3.1 × 104) A. versicolor CFU/g of dust, and the median proportion of A. versicolor from total culturable fungi was 18%. Based on thin-layer chromatography detection of sterigmatocystin, 49 of 50 A. versicolor isolates (98%) were found to be toxigenic in vitro. By using high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, sterigmatocystin could be detected in low concentrations (2 to 4 ng/g of dust) in 2 of 11 native carpet dust samples. From this preliminary study, we conclude that most strains of A. versicolor isolated from carpet dust are able to produce sterigmatocystin in vitro and that sterigmatocystin may occasionally occur in carpet dust from damp indoor environments. Further research and systematic field investigation are needed to confirm our results and to provide an understanding of the health implications of mycotoxins in indoor environments.
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To assess the degree of fungal contamination in hospital environments and to evaluate the ability of air conditioning systems to reduce such contamination. We monitored airborne microbial concentrations in various environments in 10 hospitals equipped with air conditioning. Sampling was performed with a portable Surface Air System impactor with replicate organism detection and counting plates containing a fungus-selective medium. The total fungal concentration was determined 72-120 hours after sampling. The genera most involved in infection were identified by macroscopic and microscopic observation. The mean concentration of airborne fungi in the set of environments examined was 19 +/- 19 colony-forming units (cfu) per cubic meter. Analysis of the fungal concentration in the different types of environments revealed different levels of contamination: the lowest mean values (12 +/- 14 cfu/m(3)) were recorded in operating theaters, and the highest (45 +/- 37 cfu/m(3)) were recorded in kitchens. Analyses revealed statistically significant differences between median values for the various environments. The fungal genus most commonly encountered was Penicillium, which, in kitchens, displayed the highest mean airborne concentration (8 +/- 2.4 cfu/m(3)). The percentage (35%) of Aspergillus documented in the wards was higher than that in any of the other environments monitored. The fungal concentrations recorded in the present study are comparable to those recorded in other studies conducted in hospital environments and are considerably lower than those seen in other indoor environments that are not air conditioned. These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of air-handling systems in reducing fungal contamination.
Abstract Fungal spore content in dust accumulated in air ducts was investigated in 24 mechanically ventilated single-family houses of which 15 had also a central air heating system. Dust was collected from the ducts simultaneously with cleaning of the ventilation systems. Besides spore concentrations and flora of culturable fungi, total fungal spore concentrations were determined in dust samples by the aqueous two-phase technique and spore counting with epifluorescence microscopy. Culturable spore concentrations in the dust varied from 104 to 107 CFU/g and total spore concentrations from 107 to 108 spores/g. Total spore concentrations in the duct dust were significantly higher in the air heated houses than in the other mechanically ventilated houses. The difference resulted mainly from a higher proportion of recirculation air and a higher age of the air heated houses. Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and yeasts consisted of >90% of fungal flora in the dust. Although total spore concentrations were at the same level both in the exhaust and in the supply ducts in both types of house, culturable fungal spore concentrations were slightly higher in the exhaust ducts than in the supply ducts. The proportion of culturable spores was <5% of total spores in dust accumulated in the ducts.
СТУПАР Институт за ботанику и Ботаничка башта «Јевремовац», Биолошки факултет, Универзитет у Београду
  • Колонизација Клима
  • Уређаја Микрoгљивама
  • Јелена Љаљевић Грбић
  • М Вукојевић
КОЛОНИЗАЦИЈА КЛИМА УРЕЂАЈА МИКРOГЉИВАМА МИЛИЦА ЉАЉЕВИЋ ГРБИЋ, ЈЕЛЕНА ВУКОЈЕВИЋ и М. СТУПАР Институт за ботанику и Ботаничка башта «Јевремовац», Биолошки факултет, Универзитет у Београду, 11000 Београд, Србија
Fungal colonization of HVAc and fiberglass air-duct liner in the uSA
  • S C Yang
Yang, S. C., (1996). Fungal colonization of HVAc and fiberglass air-duct liner in the uSA. In: Proceedings of the 7 th International Conference of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, 3, 173-177.