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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

MARTINS-DINIZ, José Nelson; SILVA, Rosangela Aparecida Moraes da; MIRANDA, Elaine Toscano  and  MENDES-GIANNINI, Maria José Soares. Monitoring of airborne fungus and yeast species in a hospital unit. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.3, pp. 398-405. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102005000300010.

OBJECTIVE: To monitor and characterize airborne filamentous fungi and yeasts from abiotic and biotic sources within a hospital unit. METHODS: Collections were carried out on a monthly basis, at two different time periods, from the adult and pediatric intensive care units and surgical center of a hospital in Araraquara, Southeastern Brazil. Collection of airborne fungi was carried out using a simple-stage Andersen sample. The presence of yeasts was investigated in samples taken from the hands and oropharynx of staff members as well as from the surface of beds and doorknobs inside the critical areas. RESULTS: Thirty-two genera of airborne fungi and were recovered from the surgical center and 31 from the intensive care units. Genera most frequently isolated were Cladophialophora spp., Fusarium spp., Penicillium spp., Chrysosporium spp. e Aspergillus spp. During the study period, a new unit was built in the hospital, which coincided with an increase in Cladophialophora spp., Aspergillus spp., and Fusarium spp. colony counts. Yeasts were found in 39.4% of samples obtained from healthcare staff (16.7% from interdigital spaces, 12.1% from nailbeds, and 10.6% from oropharynx) and in 44% of furniture samples, with a predominance of the Candida genus ((C. albicans, C. guilliermondii, C. parapsilosis e C. lusitaniae), followed by Trichosporon spp. CONCLUSIONS: We found a relatively high number of airborne fungi (potentially pathological) in special areas and expressive levels of yeasts in both biotic and abiotic samples. Microbiological and environmental monitoring should be conducted, especially in special areas which include immunocompromised patients, who are more susceptible to the exposure to environmental and staff-derived pathogens.

Keywords : Fungi; Yeasts; Air conditioning; Cross infection [prevention and control]; Aerosols; Infection control.

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