Evaluation of Atopy and Its Possible Association with Indoor Bioaerosol Concentrations and Other Factors at the Residence of Children

초등학생 가정을 대상으로 한 바이오에어로졸 노출과 아토피와의 연관성 평가

  • Received : 2011.08.21
  • Accepted : 2011.12.02
  • Published : 2011.12.31


Objectives: Exposure to bioaerosols in the indoor environment could be associated with a variety adverse health effects, including allergic disease such atopy. The objectives of this study were to assess children's exposure to bioaerosol in home indoor environments and to evaluate the association between atopy and bioaerosol, environmental, and social factors in Ulsan, Korea. Methods: Samples of viable airborne bacteria and fungi were collected by impaction onto agar plates using a Quick Take TM 30 and were counted as colony forming units per cubic meter of air (CFU/$m^3$). Bioaerosols were identified using standard microbial techniques by differential stains and/or microscopy. The environmental factors and possible causes of atopy based on ISAAC (International Study of Allergy and Asthma in Childhood) were collected by questionnaire. Results: The bioaerosol concentrations in indoor environments showed log-normal distribution (p < 0.01). Geometric mean (GM) and geometric standard deviation (GSD) of airborne bacteria and fungi in homes were 189.0 (2.5), 346.1(2.0) CFU/$m^3$, respectively. Indoor fungal levels were significantly higher than those of bacteria (p < 0.001). The concentration of airborne bacteria exceeded the limit recommended by the Korean Ministry of Environment, 800 CFU/$m^3$, in three out of 92 samples (3.3%) from 52 homes. The means of indoor to outdoor ratio (I/O) for airborne bacteria and fungi were 8.15 and 1.13, respectively. The source of airborne bacteria was not outdoors but indoors. GM of airborne bacteria and fungi were 217.6, 291.8 CFU/$m^3$ in the case's home and 162.0, 415.2 CFU/$m^3$ in the control's home respectively. The difference in fungal distributions between case and control were significant (p = 0.004) and the odds ratio was 0.996 (p = 0.027). Atopy was significantly associated with type of house (odds ratio = 1.723, p = 0.047) and income (odds ratio = 1.891, p = 0.041). Some of the potential allergic fungal genera isolated in homes were Cladosporium spp., Botrytis spp., Aspergillus spp., Penicillium spp., and Alternatia spp. Conclusions: These results suggest that there this should be either 'was little' meaning 'basically no significant association was found' or 'was a small negative' mean that an association was found but it was minor. It's a very improtant distinction. Association between airborne fungal concentrations and atopy and certain socioeconomic factors may affect the prevalence of childhood atopy.


Bioaerosol;Fungi;Bacteria;Atopic dermatitis


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