Generation and characterization of indoor fungal aerosols for inhalation studies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Anne Mette Madsen, Søren T. Larsen, Ismo K. Koponen, Kirsten I. Kling, Afnan Barooni, Dorina Gabriela Karottki, Kira Tendal, Peder Wolkoff

In the indoor environment, people are exposed to several fungal species. Evident dampness is associated with increased respiratory symptoms. To examine the immune responses associated with fungal exposure, mice are often exposed to a single species grown on an agar medium. The aim of this study was to develop an inhalation exposure system to be able to examine responses in mice exposed to mixed fungal species aerosolized from fungus-infested building materials. Indoor airborne fungi were sampled and cultivated on gypsum boards. Aerosols were characterized and compared with aerosols in homes. Aerosols containing107 CFU of fungi/m3 air were generated repeatedly from fungus-infested gypsum boards in a mouse exposure chamber. Aerosols contained Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus ustus, Aspergillus versicolor, Chaetomium globosum, Cladosporium herbarum, Penicillium brevicompactum, Penicillium camemberti, Penicillium chrysogenum, Penicillium commune, Penicilliumglabrum, Penicillium olsonii, Penicillium rugulosum, Stachybotrys chartarum, and Wallemia sebi. They were all amongthe most abundant airborne species identified in 28 homes. Nine species from gypsum boards and 11 species in the homes areassociated with water damage. Most fungi were present as single spores, but chains and clusters of different species and fragments were also present. The variation in exposure level during the 60 min of aerosol generation was similar to the variation measured in homes. Through aerosolization of fungi from the indoor environment, cultured on gypsum boards, it was possible to generate realistic aerosols in terms of species composition, concentration, and particle sizes. The inhalation-exposure systemcan be used to study responses to indoor fungi associated with water damage and the importance of fungal species composition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume82
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2479-2493
Number of pages15
ISSN0099-2240
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

ID: 162603349