Exposure to the Asp f 1 allergen in nonindustrial occupational environments

Timothy James Ryan, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Sick Building Syndrome is a prevalent problem with patient complaints similar to typical allergy symptoms. Unlike most household allergens, the Asp f 1 allergen is conceivably ubiquitous in the work environment. This project examined levels of the Asp f 1 allergen in office and non-industrial occupational environments, and studied the bioaerosol and dust reservoirs of Aspergillus fumigatus responsible for those levels. Culturable bioaerosols of total mesophilic fungi were sampled with Andersen N6 impactors. Aggressive airborne and bulk dust samples were concurrently collected and assayed for Asp f 1. Bulk dusts were selectively cultured for A. fumigatus. Samples were collected during both wet and dry climatological conditions to examine the possibility of Asp f 1 increases due to fungal growth blooms. Only very low levels of Asp f 1 were detected in relatively few samples. Analysis of wet versus dry period samples showed no differences in Asp f 1 levels, although A. fumigatus counts from dusts did fluctuate significantly with exterior moisture events as did indoor prevalence of total colony forming units. These results indicate that even in the presence of elevated fungal concentrations, levels of Asp f 1 are extremely low. These levels do not correlate with climatological moisture events, despite distinct fungal blooms in the days immediately following those events. Non-industrial office buildings devoid of indoor air quality issues did not demonstrate significant levels or occurrence of Asp f 1 contamination in the geographical region of this study.

Subject Area

Occupational safety|Public health|Environmental engineering

Recommended Citation

Ryan, Timothy James, "Exposure to the Asp f 1 allergen in nonindustrial occupational environments" (1998). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9927548.