Residential fungal growth and incidence of acute respiratory illness during the first two years of life

Environ Res. 2010 Oct;110(7):692-8. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2010.07.007. Epub 2010 Jul 24.


Background: Whether or not indoor mold growth causes acute childhood respiratory illness is controversial.

Objective: To determine the influence of indoor fungus on the incidence of acute respiratory illness episodes during the first two years of life.

Methods: Fungal indicators were measured in homes of children followed by daily symptom diaries and twice monthly telephone contact up to two years.

Participants: 357 children born in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Results: Generally, fungal contamination was not excessive with a geometric mean mold surface area (MSA) of 1012cm(2) (geometric standard deviation (GSD) 24.2). The annual mean illness episodes per child were 6.85 (Standard Deviation (SD) 2.80). The incidence of respiratory illness episodes was not significantly related to any of the mold indicators: Analysis of variance (ANOVA) derived F-statistic (p values) was 0.14 (0.7090) for mold surface area.

Conclusions: In homes not selected by degree of fungal contamination, fungal burden was generally not excessive and was not found to be a risk factor for acute respiratory illness episodes during the first two years of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Fungi / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mycoses / epidemiology*
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Prince Edward Island / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology