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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


JAIKEL-VIQUEZ, Daniela et al. Aerial Fungal Contamination in Three Primary Schools of the Province of Heredia, Costa Rica. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2015, vol.57, n.3, pp.137-142. ISSN 0001-6002.

Background and aim: Fungal spores are considered etiological agents of allergic rhinitis and asthma; therefore, it is advised to monitor fungal levels within the classrooms. The aim of this paper was to study fungal aerial contamination in three public schools of Heredia by measuring the concentration of aerial fungal spores per cubic meter. Methods: We used the Burkard Personal Volumetric Air Sampler to collect and identify fungal spores during the dry and rainy season. The relationship between the fungal spore concentration, the meteorological factors and structural characteristics of the schools was determined. Results: A total of 1391.89 ± 119.70 spores/m3 was found in March, 3194.45 ± 577.03 spores/ m3 in May, 3747.12 ± 568.05 spores/m3 in October and 1009.99 ± 81.24 spores/m3 in December. Except for May, approximately 91.0 % of the spores identified belonged to four groups: Aspergillus/ Penicillium, ascospores, basidiospores and Cladosporium. In May, 78.46 % of the spores identified were Cladosporium. A negative correlation was found between spore concentration and wind velocity (-0.418; p<0.05), and a positive one with rain (0.568; p<0.05) and with humidity (0.504; p<0.05). No correlation was found with temperature changes. Conclusion: The three schools analysed presented fungal spore concentrations which exceeded the limit of 1000 spores per cubic meter which is considered as healthy.

Keywords : Fungal contamination; spores; fungi; allergy.

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