, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 121-126

Airborne fungal spores in 80 homes in the Latrobe Valley, Australia: levels, seasonality and indoor-outdoor relationship

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Abstract

Airborne viable and total fungal spores were sampled inside and outside 80 houses in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia as part of a larger indoor environmental study. Each residence was visited six times over a period of 1 year for sample collection, and fungal spore samples were collected from at least three indoor sites and from an outdoor site. Viable spores were sampled using an Andersen sampler, while total spores were assessed using a Burkard spore trap. Identification of fungal colonies to genera level was performed in two seasons; winter and late spring. The most common fungal genera/groups wereCladosporium, Penicillium, and yeasts, both indoors and outdoors in winter and late spring. Outdoor levels were higher than those indoors throughout the year, and a significant seasonal variation in spore levels was seen both indoors and outdoors with overall maxima in summer. Contrary to this trend, the levels ofAspergillus, yeasts,Cephalosporium andGliocladium were higher in winter. Most fungal genera were found in greater concentrations outdoors compared to indoors, butPenicillium was more common indoors. Outdoor spore levels were a significant influence on indoor levels, but seasonal differences suggest that other influences are important.