Navigation Links
Airborne asthma allergens
Date:3/2/2009

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
riverara@nigms.nih.gov
301-594-3900
Inderscience Publishers
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica ... in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a ... , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its ... Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug ... including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: