, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 197-210
Date: 01 Sep 2006

Preliminary survey of indoor and outdoor airborne microfungi at coastal buildings in Egypt

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Abstract

Forty six species and two sterile fungi and yeast species were isolated from samples collected both indoors and outdoors of coastal buildings located in an Egyptian coastal city. Twenty flats from ten buildings were investigated; children living in these buildings have been reported to suffer from respiratory illnesses. Samples were taken using a New Brunswick sampler (model STA-101) operating for 3.0 min at a flow rate of 6.0 l/min. Most of the species isolated have been associated with symptoms of respiratory allergies. Indoors the total culturable fungal count was 1548 CFU/m3; outdoors, it was 1452 CFU/m3. Indoor values of culturable fungal count, total spores count and ergosterol content ranged from 52 to 124 CFU/m3, 100 to 400 spore/m3 and 5 to 27.7 mg/m3, respectively, whereas outdoor levels typically varied between 25 and 222 CFU/m3, 110 and 900 spore/m3 and 3.3 and 67.2 mg/m3, respectively. The maxima for these parameters were detected indoors in house no. 6 and outdoors, outside of house no. 7. The most abundant species were primarily mitosporic (2832 CFU/m3). The most frequent species in both the indoor and outdoor samples were Cladosporium cladosporioides followed by Alternaria alternata and Penicillium chrysogenum,with inside:outside ratios of 1.4, 1.8 and 1.9, respectively. The patterns of fungal abundance were influenced to some extent by changes in the relative humidity and temperature. Other factors, such as type of culture media, rate of sedimentation, size, survival rates of spore and species competition,also affected fungal counts and should be taken into consideration during any analysis of bioaerosol data.