The role of molds in the relation between indoor environment and atopy in asthma patients

Emel Ceylan, Sibel Doruk, Sebahat Genc, Ayşe Aydan Ozkutuk, Fisun Karadag, Gul Ergor, Bahriye Oya Itil, Arif Hikmet Cımrın


Background: The effect of mold fungi to allergic sensitization is not well-known. We aimed to evaluate the role of molds in the relation between indoor environment and atopy in asthmatics. Materials and Methods:The air samples obtained from 66 stable
asthmaticsand 35 control subject’shouses were sprayed into Sabouraud dextrose agar. Allergy skin testing were performed both groups. The temperature and humidity of each house were measured. Results:The incidence of atopy was similar in cases (59.1%) and controls (51.4%). The average amount of mold was 35.9 CFU/m3 and 34.3 CFU/m3, respectively. The number of household residents was positively correlated with the amount of molds. There was no difference in the amount of mold with respect to dosage of inhaler
corticosteroids as well as symptom levels in asthmatics. The most frequently encountered allergens were Dermatophagoides farinae/Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, grass and weeds and molds. Spending childhood in a village was more common among atopics.
Conclusion: Living environment during the childhood might affect atopy and asthma. Based on the identification of molds as the second most frequent allergen after mites in our study population, assessment of mold sensitization as well as in forming patients about ways to avoid them seem likely to contribute to the effective management of uncontrolled asthma.

Key words: Air pollution, asthma, indoor environment, mold

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