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2014, Cilt 44, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 033-042
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The Concentration and Seasonal Distribution of Airborne Aeroallergen Fungi Spores
Feza OTAĞ1, Taner COŞKUN2, Şahin DİREKEL3, Didem ÖZGÜR1, Gürol EMEKDAŞ1
1Mersin Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Tıbbi Mikrobiyoloji Anabilim Dalı, Mersin
2Mersin Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Biyokimya Anabilim Dalı, Mersin
3Giresun Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Tıbbi Mikrobiyoloji Anabilim Dalı, Giresun
Keywords: Cladosporium, Alternaria, airborne spore concentration, volumetric/gravimetric method

Objective: Molds are the most abundant particles in our breathing air and aeroallergen fungi spores are commonly found in the atmosphere under suitable conditions. They enter the body through different routes such as conjunctiva, respiratory tract, skin and nasal mucosa. They may lead to allergic rhinitis, asthma and conjunctivitis in susceptible individuals. In this study we aimed to identify the fungal spores in the atmosphere and investigate the alterations in spore concentrations in relation to the meteorological factors.

Materials and Methods: A total of 549 air samples were taken from four different central and two peripheral districts of Mersin province, Turkey, for nine times between September 2007 and November 2008. Air samples were inoculated onto the surface of the Sabouraud's Dextrose Agar by using portable air sampler (airIDEAL, bioMérieux, France). The growing fungi were defined to the genus level by evaluating the macroscopic and microscopic morphology starting from the seventh day of the isolated mold colonies.

Results: A total of 298.220 CFU belonging to 33 fungi taxons were isolated during the study. These spores belonged to the Cladosporium spp. (71.75%), Penicillium spp. (16.35%) Aspergillus spp. (6.31%), Alternaria spp. (3.42%), and Fusarium spp. (0.83%). The other taxa consisted a total of 1.34% of all atmospheric spores. When the seasonal distribution of the most common mold spore concentrations were investigated, Fusarium and Aspergillus genera were detected most frequently in summer and autumn months, while Penicillium, Cladosporium and Alternaria genera were abundant in every season. The correlation between the density of fungal spores and meteorological parameters revealed that amount of Alternaria, Cladosporium and Fusarium spores were positively correlated with temperature, humidity and wind, while amount of Penicillium spores indicated a negative correlation. Additionally, the amount of Aspergillus spores correlated only with temperature.

Conclusion: This study is the first study which investigated the correlation between allergen and toxigenic fungi spores and the climatic data in Mersin, Turkey. The data obtained in this study might be useful for the evaluation and the treatment of susceptible individuals in that area.

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