Airway toxicity of house dust and its fungal composition.

Elena Piecková 1, Ken Wilkins 2
1 - Research Base of the Slovak Medical University-Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Limbova 12, SK-833 03 Bratislava, Slovakia. pieckova@upkm.sk
2 -
Ann Agric Environ Med
2004; 11 (1):
ICID: 142686
 
 
House dust is an important source of different toxic metabolites as wellas allergens, including those of fungal origin, in the indoor environment. A bio-assay employing 1-day-oldchick tracheas was used to characterize airway effects of 2-butanone and dimethylsulphoxide (Me2SO) extractsof 23 dust samples collected from water damaged (13) and control (10) Danish schools. Direct microscopicalanalysis of samples, followed by cultivation on dichloran 18 % glycerol agar at 25 degrees C for 10 daysto establish their mycoflora, was performed. The in vitro ciliostatic potential of the chloroform-extractableendo- and exometabolites of 41 representative fungal isolates was determined. Nine dust extracts in 2-butanone(2 from damp rooms) or 10 (6) in Me(2)SO showed some ciliostatic activity in the 3-days' experiment.Fungal composition of dust from buildings with leakage was almost identical with that from undamagedhouses, as well as the fungal colony counts from the damp schools and the control samples. Aspergillusspp. were prevalent in the samples - 31 or 40 % of all fungi, followed by Penicillium spp. and Cladosporiumcladosporioides. Alternaria spp., Chaetomium spp., Mucor spp., Mycelia sterilia, Paecilomyces variotii,Rhizopus sp., Ulocladium sp. and yeasts were each isolated in less than 8 % of the fungal content. NoAspergillus flavus isolate (8 in total) was aflatoxigenic,em>in vitro. Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp.,Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium spp., C. cladosporioides, Chaetomium spp. and Ulocladium sp.; in total,88 % of all fungi tested, produced ciliostatically active metabolites. These toxigenic strains were alsopresent in 4 dust samples from controls and 5 dust samples from water damaged buildings. Extracts ofthese dust samples were also toxic in bioassay. There were bio-detectable concentrations (10-20 microgof extracts/ml of the organ culture medium) of toxic compounds in house dust. Contribution of fungalmetabolites to its toxic effect should be studied further.
PMID 15236501 - click here to show this article in PubMed
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