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:2/3/2016)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , Feb. 3, 2016 ... Police Department in Missouri ... of license plate reader (LPR) data from Vigilant Solutions. ... a hit-and-run case in which the victim was walking out ... a parking space next to his vehicle, striking his ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS ... are primarily focused on medical screening and ... point-of-care parameters. Wearable devices that facilitate and ... freedom of movement are being bolstered through ... human biomedical signal acquisition coupled with wireless ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 ... of that Rising Market Are you interested ... analysis forecasts revenues for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report ... market, submarket, product and national level. Avoid ... discover what progress, opportunities and revenues those emerging ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , February 5, 2016 Amarantus ... biotechnology company focused on developing products for Regenerative Medicine, ... Rare Pediatric Disease Designation (RPDD) from the US Food ... with MANF. MANF was previously granted orphan drug designation ... --> Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments will showcase several new products, ... sessions, and present on the analysis of mycotoxins and medical cannabis at the ... at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. , Attendees should ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... --> --> ... pleased to provide the following update on recent corporate developments. ... last 3 months we have significantly increased our cash position ... As a result, we have positioned ourselves to execute on ... and expect that development to continue on schedule. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 ... Laboratories (ABL), Inc. --> Strasbourg, France ... --> PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that it ... its biopharmaceutical manufacturing unit in Strasbourg, France ... --> --> Transgene (Euronext: ...
Breaking Biology Technology: