The team found that infants who were exposed to basidiospores and other airborne fungal spores--specifically penicillium/aspergillus and alternaria--early in life were more likely to develop allergies to mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and certain foods as they grew older.
This is the first study to show a relationship between specific airborne fungal spores and an increased risk for multiple allergies in children, the UC team reports in an upcoming edition of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and an early online edition June 14.
A fungus is a plantlike organism that grows by releasing tiny reproductive cells (spores) into the air. Mold is a type of fungus that can grow on any moist surface--including wood, drywall and cement.
Previous allergy studies focused on visible mold or total mold concentrations, not the identification of specific airborne fungal spores. The UC-led study showed that exposure to specific airborne fungal spores may increase allergic reactions and others could help reduce them.
These findings reinforce the idea that not all fungi are created equal, says Tiina Reponen, PhD, professor of environmental health at UC and corresponding author on the study."It turns out that the health effects of airborne fungal spores are more complicated than we thought," she says. "It's not enough to look just at total mold in our homes and offices. We need to understand how specific types of mold interact with each other in the environment to affect our respiratory health. Some fungi can have harmful effects on the body, but others may be beneficial."
Osborne conducted this research while pursuing her master's at UC and is currently employed as an environmental consultant at Quantus Analytical, a mold and allergen laboratory and consulting group in Cincinnati.
Using a small air sampling device, the UC research team collected fungal spores from the homes of 144 infants enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS).
The CCAAPS, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a five-year study examining the effects of environmental particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development.
Air samples were collected for a total of 48 hours in the child's primary activity room and in the child's bedroom during sleep. Samples were analyzed for both total and individual spore counts.
"We found that, at least in children, some fungi may cause allergic sensitization while other fungal types may actually inhibit the development of allergies," explains Osborne.
"But very little is known about how infant allergies to environmental allergens develop," she adds, "and more research is needed before we will fully understand the impact of fungi as an allergen in infants."
If mold is found in the home, the UC team recommends following the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-accepted guidelines for removing it. They also say any moisture issues, such as roof or plumbing leaks, should be resolved immediately to avoid mold development. Additional information on household mold issues can be found at www.epa.gov/moldresources.html.
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences