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Title: Indoor air studies of fungi contamination of social welfare homes in Białystok and the surrounding area during summer and autumn

Elżbieta Krajewska-Kułak, Cecylia Łukaszuk, Elżbieta Oksiejczuk, Agnieszka Gniadek, Anna B. Macura, Jolanta Lewko, Wiaczesław Niczyporuk, Wojciech Cieślak, Agata Wojewodko
Original articles
Medical Mycology
Start page:
Final page:
social welfare homes, fungi, air studies

Introduction: During the recent years the number of fungal infections in hospitalized patients has doubled. Aim of study: The contamination of the indoor environment with yeast-like fungi and moulds in social welfare homes in Białystok and the surrounding area was evaluated. Material and methods: The air pollution (in front of the building and in the corridors, patient rooms, study rooms, recreation rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, ventilation systems) was determined using SAS SUPER 100 (Pbi International). The SAS (Surface Air System) was used by NASA and in the joint American-Russian space program on board the MIR orbiting station for portable air sampling. The microbial flora from walls, floors, beds, hands of medical stuff and equipment was assessed using the Count-Tact applicator and the plate Count-Tact (BioMerieux). Swabs were taken from the skin of the interdigital spaces of feet and hands, nails and the oral cavity. The fungi from the swabs were cultured on Sabouraud medium. Fungi were identified using standard microbial procedures. Results: Microbiological tests of air and walls revealed significant differences in mycological flora depending on the place of isolation (corridor, rooms, reading room, nurse, room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom etc.) and season (summer, autumn). A significant increase in the fungi isolated from the air and walls in the social welfare homes was found, during autumn. An increase in the fungi isolated from residents was found in autumn, as well. The yeast-like fungi strains isolated from the social welfare home residents were sensitive to the antimycotics and had Iow enzymatic activity. Conclusions: We have found significant increase of fungal isolation in air of social welfare homes during autumn. Further air studies on fungi isolation from patients during different seasons (winter, spring) are needed.