Spatial Variation of Airborne Allergenic Fungal Spores in the Ambient PM2.5—A Study in Rajkot City, Western Part of India
Fungal spores in the fine particle is an emerging pollutant of the technological age, which can create adversely effect on human health and their surrounding environment. Probably the first time in the western part of India, an investigation was organized to assess the spatial distribution of PM2.5 associated fungal spore concentration levels in an urban city. Five urban locations selected to cover probably all major areas of a city to conduct the study by using fine particulate sampler with 24 hours’ interval. Highest (101.79 ± 8.09 µg m−3) concentrations of PM2.5 have been observed in the industrial area only. The highest (8.0 × 1013 Colony-forming unit (CFU) m−3) in industrial area and lowest (2.0 × 108 CFU m−3) fungal concentrations were found in the residential area. Spores of seven fungal species (i.e., Aspergillus, Candida, Fusarium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Cephalosporium and Mucor) were significantly predominant in all selected locations in the urban area. In these views, Aspergillus, Candida and Penicillium, and Fusarium species were the dominant fungi in Industrial, slaughter house and dump site, respectively. The highest concentration of fungal spores was reported in industrial area and poultry farm as compared to other locations. Outcomes of the current work suggested that fungal spores were observed in the respirable fraction (<2.5 μm) and so had the potential to penetrate the deeper part of the lungs. In addition, the meteorological parameters i.e., temperature and relative humidity, were recorded to understand the relationship between meteorology and enhanced viability of fungal spores.
KeywordsPM2.5 Bioaerosols Fungal spores Health issues
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