Influence of ambient fungal spores on emergency visits for asthma to a regional children's hospital

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Dec;162(6):2087-90. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.162.6.2001020.


The impact of ambient aeroallergens on morbidity from childhood asthma is largely unknown. To address this issue, we studied the association between daily emergency department visits for asthma to a children's hospital, and daily concentrations of both pollen grains and fungal spores during a 5-yr period between 1993 and 1997. Air pollution and meteorological data accounted for in the analyses included ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, sulfates, temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity. The daily number of asthma visits ranged from 0 to 36 per day with an average of 7.5. Fungal spores, but not pollen grains, were associated with visits (p < 0.05). The percentage increase associated with each group, independent of the others, was 1.9% (SE 0.9) for deuteromycetes, 4.1% (1.6) for basidiomycetes, 2.8% (1.0) for ascomycetes, and 8.8% for these spores combined. In summary, fungal spores account for a significant proportion of the asthma exacerbations in children that prompt an emergency department visit.

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Ascomycota*
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Basidiomycota*
  • Child
  • Colony Count, Microbial / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, District / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Meteorological Concepts
  • Mitosporic Fungi*
  • Ontario
  • Seasons
  • Spores, Fungal
  • Statistics, Nonparametric