RESEARCH ARTICLE


The Survey of Fungal Contamination in the Air Flowing Out of Air Conditioners (Coolers) in a Car



Shima Parsay1
iD
, Seyed J. Hashemi1, 2, *
iD
, Mahmood A. Mohammadi3
iD
, Roshanak Daie-Ghazvini1
iD
, Zahra Rafat4
iD
, Heidar Bakhshi1
iD
, Robab Ebrahimi1
iD

1 Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Food Microbiology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran


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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Parsay et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health,Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Tel: +98- 21 4293 3150; Fax: +98 21 88951392; E-mail: sjhashemi@tums.ac.ir


Abstract

Background:

Fungi are among the most important microorganisms in the air. The air conditioner (cooler) in a car can be an important reservoir for infectious agents, especially fungal species. The present study aimed to measure the fungal contamination in the air flowing out of air conditioners.

Objective:

In this study 138 cars including 69 Iranian-made cars and 69 cars made by foreign companies were examined.

Methods:

The plating technique was used. In this study, in each car, 2 plates were placed for 5 minutes when the air conditioner was on and also 2 plates were placed for 5 minutes when the air conditioner was off.

Results:

A total of 2442 colonies were isolated. The most common isolated fungi were Cladosporium spp. (25.55%), Penicillium spp. (6.14%) and Aspergillus niger (3.03%). The highest number of isolated fungal elements was observed in the Iranian-made cars during summer season (P-value<0.05). Furthermore, the growth rate of colonies on the plates placed on the front and rear seats of cars did not vary considerably (P-value > 0.05).

Conclusion:

Air conditioners of Iranian-made cars can be an important source for fungal transmission to the human respiratory system that is important, especially in susceptible people to allergic diseases and patients with immunodeficiency.

Keywords: Air fungal contamination, Air conditioning systems, Cooler, Cars, Epidemiology, Fungi.