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Submicronic fungal bioaerosols: high-resolution microscopic characterization and quantification.

Authors
Afanou-KA; Straumfors-A; Skogstad-A; Nilsen-T; Synnes-O; Skaar-I; Hjeljord-L; Tronsmo-A; Green-BJ; Eduard-W
Source
Appl Environ Microbiol 2014 Nov; 80(22):7122-7130
NIOSHTIC No.
20045276
Abstract
Submicronic particles released from fungal cultures have been suggested to be additional sources of personal exposure in mold-contaminated buildings. In vitro generation of these particles has been studied with particle counters, eventually supplemented by autofluorescence, that recognize fragments by size and discriminate biotic from abiotic particles. However, the fungal origin of submicronic particles remains unclear. In this study, submicronic fungal particles derived from Aspergillus fumigatus, A. versicolor, and Penicillium chrysogenum cultures grown on agar and gypsum board were aerosolized and enumerated using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). A novel bioaerosol generator and a fungal spores source strength tester were compared at 12 and 20 liters min(-1) airflow. The overall median numbers of aerosolized submicronic particles were 2x10(5) cm(-2), 2.6 x 10(3) cm(-2), and 0.9 x 10(3) cm(-2) for A. fumigatus, A. versicolor, and P. chrysogenum, respectively. A. fumigatus released significantly (P < 0.001) more particles than A. versicolor and P. chrysogenum. The ratios of submicronic fragments to larger particles, regardless of media type, were 1:3, 5:1, and 1:2 for A. fumigatus, A. versicolor, and P. chrysogenum, respectively. Spore fragments identified by the presence of rodlets amounted to 13%, 2%, and 0% of the submicronic particles released from A. fumigatus, A. versicolor, and P. chrysogenum, respectively. Submicronic particles with and without rodlets were also aerosolized from cultures grown on cellophane-covered media, indirectly confirming their fungal origin. Both hyphae and conidia could fragment into submicronic particles and aerosolize in vitro. These findings further highlight the potential contribution of fungal fragments to personal fungal exposure.
Keywords
Microorganisms; Microscopic-analysis; Fungi; Molds; Particle-counters; Microscopy; Aerosol-generators; In-vitro-study; Environmental-exposure; Work-environment; Environmental-contamination; Laboratory-techniques; Quantitative-analysis
Contact
Wijnand Eduard, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
CODEN
AEMIDF
Publication Date
20141101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
wijnand.eduard@stami.no
Fiscal Year
2015
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
M102014
Issue of Publication
22
ISSN
0099-2240
NIOSH Division
HELD
Priority Area
Services
Source Name
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
State
WV
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