Heterogeneity in microbial exposure in schools in Sweden, Poland and
by analysis of chemical markers.
Shehabi A, Szponar B, Pehrson C, Sheng Y, Larsson L.
Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2004 Jul;14(4):293-9.
Department of Medical Microbiology, Dermatology and Infection,
Lund University, Solvegatan 23, 223 62 Lund, Sweden.
We used gas chromatography--tandem mass spectrometry to analyze
microbial components in 85 samples of airborne dust from schools
in Jordan, Sweden, and Poland. To collect the samples, we
allowed dust to settle on plexiglass plates hanging in the
breathing zone in school buildings during both summer and
winter. In each of the three countries, we conducted such
sampling in two schools: one in an urban environment and the
other in rural surroundings. The microbial marker profiles
differed significantly between the schools and seasons. For
example, samples from Jordan contained remarkably low levels of
ergosterol (marker of fungal biomass) and high levels of
3-hydroxy acids (markers of lipopolysaccharide) of 10, 12, and
14 carbon chain lengths relative to such acids of 16 and 18
carbons in comparison with samples from Sweden and Poland. This
dissimilarity in 3-hydroxy fatty acid distribution indicates
significant differences in the populations of Gram-negative
bacteria. We also noted that muramic acid (marker of bacterial
biomass) exhibited the smallest variation between schools and
seasons. In summary, our results demonstrate that exposure to
microorganisms in indoor air in school buildings may differ
markedly between countries, between seasons, and between urban
and rural environments.
PMID: 15254476 [PubMed - in process]