Profiles and seasonal distribution of airborne fungi in indoor and outdoor environments at a French hospital

Marc Sautour, Nathalie Sixt, Frédéric Dalle, Coralie L'Ollivier, Vitalie Fourquenet, Céline Calinon, Kusum Paul, Stéphanie Valvin, Alix Maurel, Serge Aho, Gérard Couillault, Claire Cachia, Odile Vagner, Bernadette Cuisenier, Denis Caillot, Alain Bonnin
Science of the Total Environment 2009 June 1, 407 (12): 3766-71
A one-year prospective survey of fungal air contamination was conducted in outdoor air and inside two haematological units of a French hospital. Air was sampled with a portable Air System Impactor. During this period of survey, the mean viable fungal load was 122.1 cfu/m(3) in outdoor air samples, and 4.1 and 3.9 cfu/m(3) in samples from adult and pediatric haematology units, respectively. In outdoor samples, Cladosporium was the dominant genus (55%) while in the clinical units, Penicillium sp. (23 to 25%), Aspergillus sp. (15 to 23%) and Bjerkandera adusta (11 to 13%) were the most frequently recovered airborne fungi. The outdoor fungal load was far higher in autumn (168 cfu/m(3)), spring (110 cfu/m(3)) and summer (138 cfu/m(3)) than in winter (49 cfu/m(3)). In indoor air, fungal concentrations were significantly lower in winter (2.7 to 3.1 cfu/m(3)) than in summer (4.2 to 5.0 cfu/m(3)) in both haematology units. In the outdoor environment, Penicillium sp. and Aspergillus sp. were more abundant in winter while the levels of Cladosporium were lowest during this season. In the haematological units, the presence of Aspergillus sp. was stable during the year (close to 20%), Bjerkandera sp. was particularly abundant in winter (close to 30%); levels of Penicillium sp. were highest in autumn while levels of Cladosporium sp. were highest in spring and summer.

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