International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 60, Issue 11, pp 1739–1751 | Cite as

Madeira—a tourist destination for asthma sufferers

  • Irene Camacho
  • Agnieszka Grinn-Gofroń
  • Roberto Camacho
  • Pedro Berenguer
  • Magdalena Sadyś
Original Paper


Madeira Island is a famous tourist destination due to its natural and climatic values. Taking into account optimal weather conditions, flora richness and access to various substrates facilitating fungal growth, we hypothesised a very high risk of elevated fungal spore and pollen grain concentrations in the air of Funchal, the capital of Madeira. Concentration levels of the most allergenic taxa were measured from 2003 to 2009, using a 7-day volumetric air sampler, followed by microscopy analysis. Dependence of bioaerosols on the weather conditions and land use were assessed using spatial and statistical tools. Obtained results were re-visited by a comparison with hospital admission data recorded at the Dr. Nélio Mendonça Hospital in Funchal. Our results showed that despite propitious climatic conditions, overall pollen grain and fungal spore concentrations in the air were very low and did not exceed any clinically established threshold values. Pollen and spore peak concentrations also did not match with asthma outbreaks in the winter. Identification of places that are “free” from biological air pollution over the summer, such as Madeira Island, is very important from the allergic point of view.


Allergy Aerobiology Meteorological parameters Holiday Circular statistics 



We would like to thank the Unit of Management of Patients and Statistic of Hospital Central of Funchal, the Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SPAIC) and the Meteorological Observatory of Funchal for their help and support in the aerobiological study.

Supplementary material

484_2016_1163_MOESM1_ESM.doc (252 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 251 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISB 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Camacho
    • 1
  • Agnieszka Grinn-Gofroń
    • 2
  • Roberto Camacho
    • 1
  • Pedro Berenguer
    • 3
  • Magdalena Sadyś
    • 4
  1. 1.Life Science Competence CentreMadeira UniversityFunchalPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Plant Taxonomy and PhytogeographyUniversity of SzczecinSzczecinPoland
  3. 3.Centro de Química da Madeira (CQM)Madeira UniversityFunchalPortugal
  4. 4.Rothamsted ResearchHarpendenUK

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