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Rhinitis, Ocular, Throat and Dermal Symptoms, Headache and Tiredness among Students in Schools from Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with Fungal DNA and Mycotoxins in Classroom Dust.

Norbäck, Dan; Hashim, Jamal Hisham; Cai, Gui-Hong; Hashim, Zailina; Ali, Faridah; Bloom, Erica and Larsson, Lennart LU (2016) In PLoS One 11(2).
Abstract
There are few studies on rhinitis and sick building syndrome (SBS) among students in tropical countries. We studied associations between levels of five fungal DNA sequences, two mycotoxins (sterigmatocystin and verrucarol) and cat allergen (Fel d 1) levels in schools and rhinitis and other weekly SBS symptoms in the students. Fungal DNA was measured by quantitative PCR and cat allergen by ELISA. Pupils (N = 462) from eight randomly selected schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia participated (96%). Dust samples were collected by cotton swabs and Petri dishes exposed for one week. None of the schools had a mechanical ventilation system, but all classrooms had openable windows that were kept open during lectures and indoor CO2 levels were low... (More)
There are few studies on rhinitis and sick building syndrome (SBS) among students in tropical countries. We studied associations between levels of five fungal DNA sequences, two mycotoxins (sterigmatocystin and verrucarol) and cat allergen (Fel d 1) levels in schools and rhinitis and other weekly SBS symptoms in the students. Fungal DNA was measured by quantitative PCR and cat allergen by ELISA. Pupils (N = 462) from eight randomly selected schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia participated (96%). Dust samples were collected by cotton swabs and Petri dishes exposed for one week. None of the schools had a mechanical ventilation system, but all classrooms had openable windows that were kept open during lectures and indoor CO2 levels were low (mean 492 ppm; range 380-690 ppm). Weekly nasal symptoms (rhinitis) (18.8%), ocular (11.6%), throat (11.1%), dermal symptoms, headache (20.6%) and tiredness (22.1%) were common. Total fungal DNA in swab samples was associated with rhinitis (p = 0.02), ocular symptoms (p = 0.009) and tiredness (p = 0.001). There were positive associations between Aspergillus versicolor DNA in Petri dish samples, ocular symptoms (p = 0.02) and tiredness (p = 0.001). The level of the mycotoxin verrucarol (produced by Stachybotrys chartarum) in swab samples was positively associated with tiredness (p = 0.04). Streptomyces DNA in swab samples (p = 0.03) and Petri dish samples (p = 0.03) were negatively associated with tiredness. In conclusion, total fungal contamination, measured as total fungal DNA) in the classrooms, Aspergillus versicolor and verrucarol can be risk factors for rhinitis and SBS symptoms among students in the tropical country Malaysia. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS One
volume
11
issue
2
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • PMID:26829324
  • Scopus:84958817634
  • WOS:000369548200050
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0147996
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
50524cbb-1587-44b5-830e-2abb78d54e6c (old id 8830139)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26829324?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2016-03-01 11:23:14
date last changed
2017-01-01 07:47:23
@article{50524cbb-1587-44b5-830e-2abb78d54e6c,
  abstract     = {There are few studies on rhinitis and sick building syndrome (SBS) among students in tropical countries. We studied associations between levels of five fungal DNA sequences, two mycotoxins (sterigmatocystin and verrucarol) and cat allergen (Fel d 1) levels in schools and rhinitis and other weekly SBS symptoms in the students. Fungal DNA was measured by quantitative PCR and cat allergen by ELISA. Pupils (N = 462) from eight randomly selected schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia participated (96%). Dust samples were collected by cotton swabs and Petri dishes exposed for one week. None of the schools had a mechanical ventilation system, but all classrooms had openable windows that were kept open during lectures and indoor CO2 levels were low (mean 492 ppm; range 380-690 ppm). Weekly nasal symptoms (rhinitis) (18.8%), ocular (11.6%), throat (11.1%), dermal symptoms, headache (20.6%) and tiredness (22.1%) were common. Total fungal DNA in swab samples was associated with rhinitis (p = 0.02), ocular symptoms (p = 0.009) and tiredness (p = 0.001). There were positive associations between Aspergillus versicolor DNA in Petri dish samples, ocular symptoms (p = 0.02) and tiredness (p = 0.001). The level of the mycotoxin verrucarol (produced by Stachybotrys chartarum) in swab samples was positively associated with tiredness (p = 0.04). Streptomyces DNA in swab samples (p = 0.03) and Petri dish samples (p = 0.03) were negatively associated with tiredness. In conclusion, total fungal contamination, measured as total fungal DNA) in the classrooms, Aspergillus versicolor and verrucarol can be risk factors for rhinitis and SBS symptoms among students in the tropical country Malaysia.},
  articleno    = {e0147996},
  author       = {Norbäck, Dan and Hashim, Jamal Hisham and Cai, Gui-Hong and Hashim, Zailina and Ali, Faridah and Bloom, Erica and Larsson, Lennart},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS One},
  title        = {Rhinitis, Ocular, Throat and Dermal Symptoms, Headache and Tiredness among Students in Schools from Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with Fungal DNA and Mycotoxins in Classroom Dust.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147996},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2016},
}