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Characteristics of annual mold variations and association with childhood allergic symptoms/diseases via combining surveys and home visit measurements

Du, C., Li, B., Yu, W., Yao, R. ORCID:, Cai, J., Li, B., Yao, Y., Wang, Y., Chen, M. and Essah, E. ORCID: (2022) Characteristics of annual mold variations and association with childhood allergic symptoms/diseases via combining surveys and home visit measurements. Indoor Air, 32 (9). e13113. ISSN 0905-6947

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ina.13113


The presence of dampness and visible molds leads to concerns of poor indoor air quality which has been consistently linked with increased exacerbation and development of allergy and respiratory diseases. Due to the limitations of epidemiological surveys, the actual fungal exposure characteristics in residences has not been sufficiently understood. This study aims to characterize household fungal diversity and its’ annual temporal and spatial variations. We developed combined cross-sectional survey, repeated air sampling around a year and DNA sequencing methods. The questionnaire survey was conducted in 2019 and 4943 valid cases were received from parents; a follow-up case-control study (11 cases and 12 controls) was designed, and onsite measurements of indoor environments were repeated in typical summer, transient season and winter; dust from floor and beddings in children’ room were collected and ITS based DNA sequencing of totally 68 samples was conducted. Results from 3361 children without changes to their residences since birth verified the significant associations of indoor dampness/mold indicators and prevalence of children’ reported diseases, with increased adjusted odd ratios (aORs) >1 for studied asthma, wheeze, allergic rhinitis and eczema. The airborne fungal concentrations from air sampling were higher than 1000 CFU/m3 in summer, regardless of indoors and outdoors, indicating an intermediate pollution level. The DNA sequencing for dust showed the Aspergillus was the predominant at genus level and the Aspergillus_penicillioides was the most common at species level; while the fungal community and composition varied significantly in different homes and seasons, according to α and β diversity analyses. The comprehensive research methods contribute to a holistic understanding of indoor fungal exposure, including the concentrations, seasonal variations, community and diversity, and verifies the relations with children’ adverse health outcomes. The study further elucidates the role of microbiome in human health, which helps setting health-protective thresholds and managing mold treatments in buildings, to promote indoor air quality and human well-beings.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:107302


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