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Profiles of Environmental Mold: Indoor and Outdoor Air Sampling in a Hematology Hospital in Seoul, South Korea

1
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 16591, Korea
2
Vaccine Bio Research Institute, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea
3
Catholic Hematology Hospital, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Seoul 06591, Korea
4
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea
5
Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Seoul 06591, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112560
Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

Inhalation of fungal spores can cause various spectrums of fungal diseases in immunocompromised hosts. The aim of this study was to evaluate the concentrations and profiles of fungal species in air collected at different locations in hematology wards and outside of the hospital in Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital over the course of a year. Air sampling was performed at four locations—outside the hospital (O), in the general ward (GW), in the lounge in the cleanroom (CRL), and in the patients’ room in the cleanroom (CRR)—by using Andersen single-stage air sampler at every two weeks between May 2017 and May 2018. The results showed higher mean fungal density in summer, and the concentrations of fungi decreased as follows: O (954.8 colony-forming units, CFU/m3) > GW (4.2 CFU/m3) > CRL (0.7 CFU/m3) > CRR (0 CFU/m3). Aspergillus was most prevalent both inside (47%) and outside (62%) of the hospital. However, the outdoor fungal profile was more diverse than the indoor profile. Within the hospital, Penicillium was the second most dominant species. In conclusion, the outdoor fungal profile is diverse even in Seoul, a highly urbanized area in Korea. The distribution of indoor air fungi is significantly different from outdoor due to air quality systems. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), as well as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-filtered systems should be established to effectively reduce levels of indoor fungi. View Full-Text
Keywords: air filters; environmental monitoring; fungi; hospital air filters; environmental monitoring; fungi; hospital
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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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Cho, S.-Y.; Myong, J.-P.; Kim, W.-B.; Park, C.; Lee, S.J.; Lee, S.H.; Lee, D.-G. Profiles of Environmental Mold: Indoor and Outdoor Air Sampling in a Hematology Hospital in Seoul, South Korea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2560.

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