AN INVESTIGATION ON SEASONAL FUNGAL SPORE COUNTS AND THEIR ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS

Date

August 2023

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Abstract

Fungi can grow in both indoor and outdoor environments and may enter a house through open doorways, windows, vents, as well as heating and air conditioning systems. I have used two different techniques to capture and collect fungal samples. I used a Burkard Volumetric Spore Trap to capture the aeroallergens. It was placed on the third-floor roof of the Natural Science Building of West Texas A&M University. I collected the spores on the Sellotape placed on the drum and stained them with 2% safranin and mounted the slide in Gelvatol. I observed the prepared slides using BX-40 Olympus Microscope equipped with a DP-74 digital camera and the CellSens software. I observed the frequent presence of fungal spores like Alternaria alternata, Stachybotrys, Drechslera and ascospores. I also observed plenty of burnt residues, gums and resinous exudates from the plants and various forms of fibers. All these are considered as potential allergens and causal factors for allergic rhinitis and related symptoms. In the second part, I collected spoiled food materials and cheese. I stained the isolated fungal materials after a brief flaming on an alcohol lamp. After staining with Lacto-phenol Cotton Blue stain, I observed the spores and mycelia produced by the fungi using a Leica DM-750 digital microscope equipped with LAS V4.9 software for capturing images. Micrographs were captured, analyzed, and labeled accordingly. I observed Rhizopus stolonifer, Colletotrichum truncatum, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium notatum and several types of spores from Ascomyceteous fungi. Our continued research will include collection of fungal samples from different households, capturing iii images after staining suitably and analyzing them based on their spore morphology using the standard identification keys.

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Air Quality

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