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Ocular symptoms and tear film break up time (BUT) among junior high school students in Penang, Malaysia - Associations with fungal DNA in school dust
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5174-6668
United Nations Univ, Int Inst Global Hlth, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia.;Natl Univ Malaysia, Dept Community Hlth, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia..
Univ Putra Malaysia, Dept Environm & Occupat Hlth, Fac Med & Hlth Sci, Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia..
Univ Putra Malaysia, Fac Med & Hlth Sci, Dept Community Hlth, Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia..
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2017 (English)In: International journal of hygiene and environmental health (Print), ISSN 1438-4639, E-ISSN 1618-131X, Vol. 220, no 4, 697-703 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: There are few studies on ocular effects of indoor mould exposure in schools, especially in the tropics

Objective: To study associations between eye symptoms and tear film break up time (BUT) in students and demographic data and fungal DNA in schools.

Methods: A school environment study was performed among randomly selected students in eight randomly selected secondary schools in Penang, Malaysia. Information on eye symptoms and demographic data was collected by a standardised questionnaire. BUT was measured by two methods, self-reported BUT (SBUT) and by the non-invasive Tearscope (NIBUT). Dust was collected by vacuuming in 32 classrooms and analysed for five fungal DNA sequences. Geometric mean (GM) for total fungal DNA was 7.31*10(4) target copies per gram dust and for Aspergillus/Penicillium DNA 3.34*10(4) target copies per gram dust. Linear mixed models and 3-level multiple logistic regression were applied adjusting for demo-graphic factors.

Results: A total of 368 students (58%) participated and 17.4% reported weekly eye symptoms the last 3 months. The median SBUT and TBUT were 15 and 12 s, respectively. Students wearing glasses (OR 2.41, p=0.01) and with a history of atopy (OR= 2.67; p=0.008) had more eye symptoms. Girls had less eye symptoms than boys (OR= 0.34; p=0.006) Indoor carbon dioxide in the classrooms was low (range 380-720 ppm), temperature was 25-30 degrees C and relative air humidity 70-88%. Total fungal DNA in vacuumed dust was associated with shorter SBUT (4s shorter per 10(5) target copies per gram dust; p=0.04) and NIBUT (4s shorter per 105 target copies per gram dust; p < 0.001). Aspergillus/Penicillium DNA was associated with shorter NIBUT (5 s shorter per 105 target copies per gram dust; p=0.01).

Conclusion: Fungal contamination in schools in a tropical country can be a risk factor for impaired tear film stability among students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER GMBH, URBAN & FISCHER VERLAG , 2017. Vol. 220, no 4, 697-703 p.
Keyword [en]
Tear film break up time (BUT), Eye symptoms, Mould, School environment, Fungal DNA
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-330750DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.01.016ISI: 000404817300006PubMedID: 28254266OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-330750DiVA: diva2:1147387
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasSwedish Asthma and Allergy AssociationSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2017-10-05 Created: 2017-10-05 Last updated: 2017-10-05Bibliographically approved

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