Identification of fungal hazards associated with mold-contaminated homes in Atanta, Georgia
Monday, March 5, 2018: 2:45 PM
S310GH (Convention Center)
Angela R. Lemons, MS, , ,
RATIONALE: Identifying fungal hazards within indoor and occupational environments using molecular detection methods has enabled the detection of the full spectrum of fungi. In this study, next-generation sequencing has been used to evaluate fungi associated with occupying and remediating mold contaminated homes within Atlanta, Georgia.

METHODS: Outdoor and indoor air samples, collected with a high efficiency M-TRAP air sampling cassette, as well as dust samples were collected from homes in Atlanta, Georgia with suspected mold contamination before (n=11) and after remediation (n=4). Genomic DNA was extracted for the amplification and sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer 1 region using Illumina MiSeq. Quantitative PCR, viable culture, and ergosterol analyses were also performed.

RESULTS: While the fungi detected among outdoor and indoor samples was similar, air samples from homes with suspected mold contamination had an increased relative abundance of Basidiomycota sequences, including Wallemia sp. and Stereum sp., as well as Ascomycota sequences in the order Eurotiales. These data were supported by viable culture data analysis that demonstrated an increase in Aspergillus and Penicillium species. Indoor dust also showed an increase in sequences belonging to the order Pleosporales, which produce homologous Alterneria allergens. Homes evaluated post-remediation showed no overall difference in the composition of fungi, although ergosterol concentrations measured in indoor dust were slightly decreased in these homes.

CONCLUSIONS: Employing next-generation sequencing technologies has allowed for the detection of fungal hazards derived from the phylum Basidiomycota that are not detected using viable culture. These data show that the spectrum of fungal species remained consistent following remediation.