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Stenotrophomonas, Mycobacterium, and Streptomyces in home dust and air: associations with moldiness and other home/family characteristics
Kettleson, E., S. Kumar, T. Reponen, S. Vesper, D. Meheust, S. Grinshpun, AND A. Adhikari. Stenotrophomonas, Mycobacterium, and Streptomyces in home dust and air: associations with moldiness and other home/family characteristics. INDOOR AIR. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, 23(5):387-396, (2013).
This is the first discovery of a bacterium assoicated with the high Environmental Relative Moldiness Index homes. This bacterium, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, can cause respiratory problems. This discovery provides insight into the the association between microbial (molds and bacteria) exposures in water-dmaged homes and health.
Abstract Aims: (1) To investigate the dustborne and airborne bacterial concentrations of three emerging moisture-related bacteria: Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Streptomyces, and Mycobacterium. (2) To study the association between these bacteria concentrations and Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) and other home characteristics. Methods and Results: House dust was collected from the child’s primary activity room by floor vacuuming. Indoor air samples were collected using a size-selective sampler. Cell equivalents of the target bacterial groups in both dust and air samples were quantified with real-time PCR assays. Multiple regression models showed that increased dustborne S. maltophilia was associated with higher floor surface moisture and higher mold populations, whereas Streptomyces and Mycobacterium dust concentrations were higher in homes with dog(s). Airborne concentrations of these bacteria were greatest in the largest sampled size fraction (>1.8 Bm). However, no home characteristic predicted airborne bacterial concentrations in the final multiple regression models. Conclusions: Only dustborne bacteria levels were associated with the studied home characteristics. Unlike Streptomyces and Mycobacterium dust levels, the bacterium S. maltophilia was associated with water-damaged environments with higher floor surface moisture and higher mold populations. Outdoor sources might influence dustborne Streptomyces and Mycobacterium levels more than indoor sources. Significance and Impact of the Study: S. maltophilia is the first bacterial species found to be associated with home moldiness. ___________________________________________________________________________________________