Navigation Links
Airborne asthma allergens

A survey of airborne fungi and fungal spores found in Eastern Puerto Rico suggests that certain species may be a major cause of the high incidence of childhood asthma in this part of the world. A report published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, suggests this information could be used to alleviate human factors that lead to high levels of such fungi.

Worldwide asthma incidence has been on the increase since the latter part of the twentieth century. It is a chronic breathing disorder with both genetic and environmental factors influencing symptoms and no single known cause. According to the US Center for Disease Control, Puerto Rico has a higher overall prevalence of lifetime (19.6%) and current (11.6%) asthma than other parts of the Americas. Incidence among the under-eighteens is particularly high in the eastern part of the island.

Research suggests that interactions between genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers may be responsible for raised incidence in particular regions.

Alberto Rivera Rentas, now working at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, at the National Institute of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, working with Christian Velez of the Universidad Metropolitana of San Juan and Antonio Gonzalez of the Universidad del Turabo, in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, have now isolated and identified microbial fungi, which they suggest are linked to asthma.

They point out that allergens and pollution are undoubtedly important factors in the development of asthma, although they alone cannot be the sole cause of its increasing, widespread prevalence. In considering Puerto Rico, they suggest that no studies have so far investigated the particularly high incidence of the disorder there in an integrated way.

The team sampled air from eleven communities in the municipality of Caguas. From these samples they identified a total of 514 different fungi and correlated the general family groups, the fungal genus, with precise location. Using the Geographic Information Systems they could address factors of geology, geography, vegetation abundance, atmospheric conditions and human activities such as industry and vehicle traffic that might influence fungal distribution.

Airborne fungi are a potential health hazard to everyone. They can impact human health in four main ways: infecting people, acting as allergens, they can be toxic and carcinogenic, or they can cause inflammatory reactions.

Rivera Rentas and colleagues found that two particular fungal groups - Cladosporium and Mycelia sterilia were more common than others. When they classified the sampled regions they saw that four of the six locations sampled having the highest number of fungal colonies as urban. These developed areas have moderate to high vehicular traffic. The work provides evidence of asthma-related fungi in the area, although this alone does not account for the observed high asthma prevalence.

"This work revealed the presence of fungal allergens that can be potential asthma triggers and establishes a rationale for future research in this area," the researchers conclude.


Contact: Alberto Rivera Rentas
Inderscience Publishers

Related biology news :

1. Atmospheric scientists gear up for collaborative airborne campaigns
2. NASA launches airborne study of arctic atmosphere, air pollution
3. Airborne bacteria may play large role in precipitation
4. La Jolla Institute signs exclusive license agreement with Medimmune on major asthma discovery
5. Indoor air pollution increases asthma symptoms
6. Eosinophils as markers for asthma
7. Fast-food diet cancels out benefits of breastfeeding in preventing asthma
8. New asthma research opposes current drug treatment, says UH prof
9. Pregnant women with asthma can be more confident about some medicines
10. RSV may hide in the lungs, lead to asthma, UT Southwestern researchers report
11. More findings on gene involved in childhood asthma
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... 11, 2015   Growing need for low-cost, ... has been paving the way for use of ... discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and ... used in medical applications, however, their adoption is ... to continuous emphasis on improving product quality and ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015 About ... that helps to identify and verify the identity ... considered as the secure and accurate method of ... a particular individual because each individual,s signature is ... especially when dynamic signature of an individual is ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 Studies reveal ... human plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment ... cats     --> ... diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood ... collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... a fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th ... . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, ... .  A replay will be available for 14 days ... , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today ... following conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as ... no corporate developments that would cause the recent movements ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company ...
Breaking Biology Technology: