Significant Heterogeneity in Airborne Mold Quantities on the Caribbean Island Of St. Kitts: Health Implications and Impact on Food Preservation
Irshad Prasla#, Kristen Duman#, Zachary Ciochetto, Atandra Burman, Alyssa Mahon, Samuel Park, Elise Landa, Nalliene Chavez, Torib Uchel, Harleen Saini, James Bassford, James O Adekeye and Girish J Kotwal*
University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Basseterre, St Kitts, WI
- Corresponding Author:
- Girish J Kotwal
Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry
University of Medicine and Health Sciences
PO Box 1218, Basseterre, St. Kitts, WI
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
Received Date: October 21, 2013; Accepted Date: December 03, 2013; Published Date: December 06, 2013
Citation: Prasla I, Duman K, Ciochetto Z, Burman A, Mahon A, et al. (2013) Significant Heterogeneity in Airborne Mold Quantities on the Caribbean Island Of St. Kitts: Health Implications and Impact on Food Preservation. Virol Mycol 3:123. doi: 10.4172/2161-0517.1000123
Copyright: © 2013 Prasla I, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The air we breathe in a given environment can influence the state of health of a person living in that environment. The recent outbreak of fungal meningitis in the USA which led to several deaths, hospitalizations and illnesses due to fungal contamination of a steroid being administered for pain management has underscored the importance of a dire need to have an understanding of the quantities of fungi in the air that surrounds us. Here we report the study results of an analysis of the air for levels of molds from a range of separate locations on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. The purpose of the study was to establish an initial benchmark for St. Kitts in terms of air quality, with specific attention to airborne fungi, as no such previous analysis has been undertaken and because airborne molds have the potential to negatively impact public health. Our research involved exposure of Sabaroud’s dextrose agar plates for fungal growth at predetermined locations around the island followed by determination of the fungal count per hour of exposure. A scoring system proposed here identifies areas with high mold count. The results suggest that areas with abundant vegetation or presence of vegetables also had the highest airborne mold counts. In contrast, areas tested within air-conditioned buildings which were routinely cleaned and well maintained; showed the lowest mold counts. This study should become a simple precursor model for global follow-up studies for monitoring air quality. Ensuring that the air we breathe contains minimal quantities of molds will result in healthier population and help to prevent possible associated allergies and disease, particularly among more susceptible immunocompromised persons either due to AIDS or immunosuppressive therapy.