Endotoxin, ergosterol, fungal dna and allergens in dust from schools in johor bahru, malaysia- Associations with asthma and respiratory infections in pupils

Dan Norbäck, Pawel Markowicz, Gui Hong Cai, Zailina Hashim, Faridah Ali, Yi Wu Zheng, Xu Xin Lai, Michael Dho Spangfort, Lennart Larsson, Jamal Hisham Hashim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There are few studies on associations between respiratory health and allergens, fungal and bacterial compounds in schools in tropical countries. The aim was to study associations between respiratory symptoms in pupils and ethnicity, chemical microbial markers, allergens and fungal DNA in settled dust in schools in Malaysia. Totally 462 pupils (96%) from 8 randomly selected secondary schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, participated. Dust was vacuumed from 32 classrooms and analysed for levels of different types of endotoxin as 3-hydroxy fatty acids (3-OH), muramic acid, ergosterol, allergens and five fungal DNA sequences. Multiple logistic regression was applied. Totally 13.1% pupils reported doctor's diagnosed asthma, 10.3% wheeze and 21.1% pollen or pet allergy. Indian and Chinese children had less atopy and asthma than Malay. Carbon dioxide levels were low (380-690 ppm). No cat (Fel d1), dog (Can f 1) or horse allergens (Ecu cx) were detected. The levels of Bloomia tropicalis (Blo t), house dust mite allergens (Der p 1, Der f 1, Der m 1) and cockroach allergens (Per a 1 and Bla g 1) were low. There were positive associations between levels of Aspergillus versicolor DNA and daytime breathlessness, between C14 3-OH and respiratory infections and between ergosterol and doctors diagnosed asthma. There were negative (protective) associations between levels of C10 3-OH and wheeze, between C16 3-OH and day time and night time breathlessness, between cockroach allergens and doctors diagnosed asthma. Moreover there were negative associations between amount of fine dust, total endotoxin (LPS) and respiratory infections. In conclusion, endotoxin at school seems to be mainly protective for respiratory illness but different types of endotoxin could have different effects. Fungal contamination measured as ergosterol and Aspergillus versicolor DNA can be risk factors for respiratory illness. The ethnical differences for atopy and asthma deserve further attention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere88303
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume9
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2014

    Fingerprint

    Ergosterol
    ergosterol
    Malaysia
    asthma
    endotoxins
    Pupil
    allergens
    Dust
    Endotoxins
    dust
    Respiratory Tract Infections
    Allergens
    students
    Asthma
    Fungal DNA
    infection
    physicians
    Cockroaches
    Aspergillus versicolor
    atopy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Medicine(all)

    Cite this

    Endotoxin, ergosterol, fungal dna and allergens in dust from schools in johor bahru, malaysia- Associations with asthma and respiratory infections in pupils. / Norbäck, Dan; Markowicz, Pawel; Cai, Gui Hong; Hashim, Zailina; Ali, Faridah; Zheng, Yi Wu; Lai, Xu Xin; Spangfort, Michael Dho; Larsson, Lennart; Hashim, Jamal Hisham.

    In: PLoS One, Vol. 9, No. 2, e88303, 11.02.2014.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Norbäck, D, Markowicz, P, Cai, GH, Hashim, Z, Ali, F, Zheng, YW, Lai, XX, Spangfort, MD, Larsson, L & Hashim, JH 2014, 'Endotoxin, ergosterol, fungal dna and allergens in dust from schools in johor bahru, malaysia- Associations with asthma and respiratory infections in pupils', PLoS One, vol. 9, no. 2, e88303. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088303
    Norbäck, Dan ; Markowicz, Pawel ; Cai, Gui Hong ; Hashim, Zailina ; Ali, Faridah ; Zheng, Yi Wu ; Lai, Xu Xin ; Spangfort, Michael Dho ; Larsson, Lennart ; Hashim, Jamal Hisham. / Endotoxin, ergosterol, fungal dna and allergens in dust from schools in johor bahru, malaysia- Associations with asthma and respiratory infections in pupils. In: PLoS One. 2014 ; Vol. 9, No. 2.
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    abstract = "There are few studies on associations between respiratory health and allergens, fungal and bacterial compounds in schools in tropical countries. The aim was to study associations between respiratory symptoms in pupils and ethnicity, chemical microbial markers, allergens and fungal DNA in settled dust in schools in Malaysia. Totally 462 pupils (96{\%}) from 8 randomly selected secondary schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, participated. Dust was vacuumed from 32 classrooms and analysed for levels of different types of endotoxin as 3-hydroxy fatty acids (3-OH), muramic acid, ergosterol, allergens and five fungal DNA sequences. Multiple logistic regression was applied. Totally 13.1{\%} pupils reported doctor's diagnosed asthma, 10.3{\%} wheeze and 21.1{\%} pollen or pet allergy. Indian and Chinese children had less atopy and asthma than Malay. Carbon dioxide levels were low (380-690 ppm). No cat (Fel d1), dog (Can f 1) or horse allergens (Ecu cx) were detected. The levels of Bloomia tropicalis (Blo t), house dust mite allergens (Der p 1, Der f 1, Der m 1) and cockroach allergens (Per a 1 and Bla g 1) were low. There were positive associations between levels of Aspergillus versicolor DNA and daytime breathlessness, between C14 3-OH and respiratory infections and between ergosterol and doctors diagnosed asthma. There were negative (protective) associations between levels of C10 3-OH and wheeze, between C16 3-OH and day time and night time breathlessness, between cockroach allergens and doctors diagnosed asthma. Moreover there were negative associations between amount of fine dust, total endotoxin (LPS) and respiratory infections. In conclusion, endotoxin at school seems to be mainly protective for respiratory illness but different types of endotoxin could have different effects. Fungal contamination measured as ergosterol and Aspergillus versicolor DNA can be risk factors for respiratory illness. The ethnical differences for atopy and asthma deserve further attention.",
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    AU - Hashim, Zailina

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