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Quantitative PCR analysis of fungal DNA in Swedish day care centers and comparison with building characteristics and allergen levels
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (eva vingård)
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2009 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, Vol. 19, no 5, 392-400 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 Sweden has had allergen-avoidance day care centers (AADCs) since 1979. The aim of this study was to measure fungal DNA by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), a new method, in AADCs and ordinary day care centers (ODCs) and examine associations between allergen levels and building characteristics. Dust samples were collected by swabbing doorframes, vacuum-cleaning, and using Petri dishes. In total, 11 AADCs and 11 ODCs were studied (70 rooms). Total fungal DNA, measured by qPCR in the swab dust, was detected in 89%, Aspergillus or Penicillium (Asp/Pen) DNA in 34%, and Stachybotrys chartarum DNA in 6% of the rooms. Total fungal DNA was significantly higher in rooms with linoleum floor (P = 0.02), textile carpets (P = 0.03), reported dampness/molds (P = 0.02) and reported odor (P < 0.001) in the buildings, and significantly lower in wooden facade buildings (P = 0.003). Reported odor was related to the amount of sieved fine dust, reported dampness/molds and type of building construction. Total fungal DNA was related to cat, dog, horse and total allergen levels (P = 0.003) in the day care centers. In conclusion, total fungal DNA is related to reported dampness/molds, reported odor, and type of wall construction. The association between fungal and allergen contamination indicated a general 'hygiene factor' related to biological contaminants. Practical Implications The associations between fungal DNA, reported dampness/molds, and odor support the view that buildings with odor problems should be investigated for possible hidden fungal growth. There is a need to measure fungal biomass in different types of building constructions by monitoring fungal DNA. Analysis of fungal DNA with quantitative PCR can be a fast and practical way to study indoor fungal contamination. Swabbing dust from the doorframe of the main entrance to the room can be a convenient method of sampling dust for fungal DNA analysis. The high prevalence of reported dampness/molds and the common occurrence of fungal DNA indicate the need to improve the indoor environment of Swedish day care centers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 19, no 5, 392-400 p.
Keyword [en]
Day care centers, Quantitative PCR, Fungal DNA, Allergen levels, Indoor environment, Building dampness
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122932DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2009.00600.xISI: 000269874800003PubMedID: 19500176OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-122932DiVA: diva2:311411
Available from: 2010-04-21 Created: 2010-04-21 Last updated: 2014-01-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fungal DNA, Mould, Dampness and Allergens in Schools and Day Care Centers and Respiratory Health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fungal DNA, Mould, Dampness and Allergens in Schools and Day Care Centers and Respiratory Health
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Day care centers and schools are important environments for children, but few epidemiological studies exist from these environments. Mould, dampness, fungal DNA and allergens levels in these environments and respiratory health effects in school children were investigated in this thesis. In the day care centers studies, Allergen Avoidance Day care Centers (AADCs) and Ordinary Day care Centers were included. One third of the Swedish day care centers had a history of dampness or mould growth. Total fungal DNA levels were positively associated with risk construction buildings, reported dampness/moulds, rotating heat exchangers, linoleum floors and allergens (cat, dog, horse allergen) levels. The two school studies included secondary schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and elementary schools from five European countries (Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and France) (HESE-study). In Malaysia, 13 % of the pupils reported doctor-diagnosed asthma but only 4 % had asthma medication. The prevalence of wheeze in the last 12 months was 10 % in Malaysia and 13 % in the HESE-study. Cough and rhinitis were common among children in the HESE-study. There were associations between fungal DNA and reported dampness or mould growth. Fungal DNA levels and viable mould (VM) concentration in the classrooms were associated with respiratory symptoms (wheeze, rhinitis, cough, daytime breathlessness) in school children. In the HESE-study, associations were found between total fungal DNA, Aspergillus/Penicillium DNA and respiratory symptoms among children. Moreover, Aspergillus versicolor DNA and Streptomyces DNA were associated with respiratory symptoms in Malaysia and the HESE-study, as well as reduced lung function [forced vitality capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)] among children in the HESE-study. In conclusion, fungal DNA and pet allergens were common in day care centers and schools and respiratory symptoms in school children were common. The associations between VM concentration and fungal DNA levels in the schools and respiratory health effects in school children indicated a need for improvement of these environments. Moreover, risk constructions should be avoided and buildings should be maintained to avoid dampness and microbial growth. Health relevance of microbial exposure and biodiversity needs to be further studied using molecular methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 85 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 942
Keyword
Day care centers, Quantitative PCR, Fungal DNA, Allergens, Indoor environment, Building dampness, Bacteria, Mycotoxins, Respiratory symptoms, Asthma, School environment, Viable moulds, School children
National Category
Clinical Medicine
Research subject
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209597 (URN)978-91-554-8788-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-06, Frödingsalen, Ulleråkersvägen 40, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-11-15 Created: 2013-10-22 Last updated: 2014-01-23

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Bröms, KristinaSvärdsudd, Kurt

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