Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between the concentration of psychrophilic bacteria, mesophilic bacteria and mold fungi in bioaerosols, and the number of new cases of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in children. Methods: Air samples from the Lubelskie and Pomeranian voivodeships in Poland were collected from January 2015 to December 2016 in winter, spring, summer and autumn. Thirty-three samples were collected in the Pomeranian and 27 in the Lubelskie voivodeship. The air samples were collected on the first day of each month at 1:00 pm for 10 mins at a height of 1.5 m above the ground. The number of mesophilic bacteria was detected after 24-48 hrs incubation at 37°C on tryptone soya agar (TSA; Merck, Darmstadt, Germany). The number of psychrophilic bacteria was detected after 72 hrs incubation at 22°C on TSA. The number of fungi was detected by a 5-day long incubation at 28°C on chloramphenicol yeast glucose agar. Results: In the Lubelskie voivodeship, the mean concentration of psychrophilic bacteria was significantly higher than in the Pomeranian voivodeship (2739 vs 608 CFU/m3, respectively), the mean concentration of mesophilic bacteria was significantly higher (2493 vs 778/m3, respectively) and the concentration of fungi was significantly higher (3840 vs 688 CFU/m3, respectively). We also showed a statistically significant relationship between the number of children with recently diagnosed T1DM and the mean concentration of psychrophilic and mesophilic bacteria in the Pomeranian and Lubelskie voivodeships (P<0.001). Moreover, we found a significant relationship between the number of new cases of T1DM in children and the mean concentration of fungi in bioaerosols in the Lubelskie voivodeship (P<0.001), but not in the Pomeranian voivodeship (P=NS). Conclusion: The results of our research showed that there is a higher concentration of microbial particles in the Lublin voivodeship. Therefore, we recommend changes in climate for children (trips to the sea, mountains, etc) as often as possible.
Keywords: children; incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus; mesophilic bacteria; mold fungi; psychrophilic bacteria.