Grain harvesting as a local source of Cladosporium spp. in Denmark

  • Yulia OlsenEmail author
  • Tanja Begovic
  • Carsten Ambelas Skjøth
  • Karen Rasmussen
  • Ulrich Gosewinkel
  • Ole Hertel
  • Torben Sigsgaard
Brief communication


Cladosporium spp. are omnipresent moulds that grow on multiple substrates. Their spores possess a high allergenic potential. Currently, little is known about the incidence and the sources of airborne Cladosporium spores in Denmark. Air samples were collected between 31 May and 22 September 2015 in Viborg (Jutland, western Denmark). Eighteen out of 21 days with daily average concentrations exceeding the health-relevant threshold of 3000 Spores m−3, including the day with peak daily (13,553 Spores m−3) and 3-h concentrations (35,662 Spores m−3), occurred in August. The air masses that approached Viborg during the longest episode of elevated spore concentrations originated from northern Poland, the Baltics, passing over southern Sweden and the eastern Danish island of Zealand. The Cladosporium spore concentrations from Viborg were compared with the Cladosporium spore concentrations from the operational monitoring station in Copenhagen (Zealand, eastern Denmark). During the episode, concentrations in Viborg were on average 2268 spores m−3 higher than in Copenhagen. On the peak day between 8:00 and 15:00, concentrations in Viborg were 4–7 times higher than in Copenhagen, which we associated with grain crop harvesting in eastern Jutland. Elevated day time concentrations in Viborg on the days with daily average concentrations exceeding the threshold also indicate the local character of the sources.


Aerobiology Cladosporium spp. Back trajectories HYSPLIT Airmass transport Grain harvesting 



Data on agricultural grain fields land cover were provided by the Agricultural Agency under the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. Meteorological data were provided by the Danish Meteorological Institute.


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© Springer Media B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science – Environmental Microbiology & BiotechnologyAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.School of Science and the EnvironmentUniversity of WorcesterWorcesterUK
  4. 4.The Asthma and Allergy AssociationRoskildeDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Science – Atmospheric Chemistry and PhysicsAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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