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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 297; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030297

Slaughterhouses Fungal Burden Assessment: A Contribution for the Pursuit of a Better Assessment Strategy

1
Environment and Health Research Group, Lisbon School of Health Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Lisbon 1990-096, Portugal
2
Centro de Investigação em Saúde Pública, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon 1600-560, Portugal
3
Mycology Laboratory, National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Lisbon, Lisbon 1649-016, Portugal
4
Institute of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon, Lisbon 1649-028, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Watterson
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Safety and Related Impacts on Health and the Environment)
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Abstract

In slaughterhouses, the biological risk is present not only from the direct or indirect contact with animal matter, but also from the exposure to bioaerosols. Fungal contamination was already reported from the floors and walls of slaughterhouses. This study intends to assess fungal contamination by cultural and molecular methods in poultry, swine/bovine and large animal slaughterhouses. Air samples were collected through an impaction method, while surface samples were collected by the swabbing method and subjected to further macro- and micro-scopic observations. In addition, we collected air samples using the impinger method in order to perform real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) amplification of genes from specific fungal species, namely A. flavus, A. fumigatus and A. ochraceus complexes. Poultry and swine/bovine slaughterhouses presented each two sampling sites that surpass the guideline of 150 CFU/m3. Scopulariopsis candida was the most frequently isolated (59.5%) in poultry slaughterhouse air; Cladosporium sp. (45.7%) in the swine/bovine slaughterhouse; and Penicillium sp. (80.8%) in the large animal slaughterhouse. Molecular tools successfully amplified DNA from the A. fumigatus complex in six sampling sites where the presence of this fungal species was not identified by conventional methods. This study besides suggesting the indicators that are representative of harmful fungal contamination, also indicates a strategy as a protocol to ensure a proper characterization of fungal occupational exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: fungal burden; assessment strategy; slaughterhouses fungal burden; assessment strategy; slaughterhouses
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Viegas, C.; Faria, T.; dos Santos, M.; Carolino, E.; Sabino, R.; Quintal Gomes, A.; Viegas, S. Slaughterhouses Fungal Burden Assessment: A Contribution for the Pursuit of a Better Assessment Strategy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 297.

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