Domestic fungal diversity in NYC homes, neighborhood asthma prevalence and asthma persistence. 
Sunday, March 4, 2018: 2:30 PM
S230EF (Convention Center)
Matthew Perzanowski, PhD, , , , , , ,
RATIONALE: In New York City (NYC), pediatric asthma prevalence varies among neighborhoods. Fungal diversity has been inversely associated with asthma development. We hypothesized that fungal diversity would be lower in neighborhoods with higher asthma prevalence and inversely associated with asthma morbidity and persistence.

METHODS: In this study, 7-8 year-old children (n=344) living in higher (11-18%) and lower (3-9%) asthma prevalence neighborhoods (HAPN and LAPN, respectively) were recruited as part of the NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study, an asthma case-control study. Bedroom floor dust was collected and analyzed by high-throughput DNA sequencing. A subset of the asthmatic children (n=144) were followed to age 10-11 to determine asthma persistence during these three years of life.

RESULTS: Neighborhood asthma prevalence was inversely associated with both fungal species richness (B= -0.15, P=0.005) and Shannon diversity (-0.14, P=0.010). However, these associations appeared to be driven by differences in building type (apartments more common in HAPN) and presence of bedroom carpet (more common in LAPN homes) and were no longer statistically significant when adjusting for these variables. Among the children with asthma at age 7-8, Shannon diversity was inversely associated with having more frequent asthma symptoms at that age (OR 0.72, P=0.017) and richness was inversely associated with asthma persistence to age 10-11 (OR 0.99, P=0.040) in models adjusting for sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, seroatopy and maternal asthma.

CONCLUSIONS: Decreased fungal diversity appears to be relevant to asthma morbidity in this urban setting. Increased diversity was associated with less morbidity and lower risk of persistence of asthma symptoms.