Correspondence Between Urban Bird Roosts and the Presence of Aerosolised Fungal Pathogens
Habitat fragmentation in urban environments concentrates bird populations that have managed to adapt to these newly developed areas. Consequently, the roosts of these birds are potentially creating environments conducive to fungal growth and dissemination. Airborne fungi derived from these environments are relatively unstudied, as is the potential health risk arising from these fungi. This study documented the diversity of culturable airborne fungal propagules associated with forty urban bird roosts. Environmental variables from each site were recorded to allow us to analyse the correspondence between different bird species, the substrate they occupy and airborne fungal propagules. Associations were established between Rhodotorula and Pacific black ducks, wood ducks, myna birds and miner birds when in the presence of bare soil as a substrate. Further associations were established between Penicillium, Scopulariopsis and Cunninghamella and pigeons, sparrows and swallows living in areas with hard surfaces such as bitumen and rocks.
KeywordsAirborne fungi Rhodotorula Avian droppings Guano Environmental sources Zoonosis
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