Exposure to moulds and actinomycetes in Alpine farms : a nested environmental study of the PASTURE cohort

Roussel, S. and Sudre, B. and Reboux, G. and Waser, M. and Buchele, G. and Vacheyrou, M. and Dalphin, J. C. and Millon, L. and Braun-Fahrländer, C. and von Mutius, E. and Piarroux, R.. (2011) Exposure to moulds and actinomycetes in Alpine farms : a nested environmental study of the PASTURE cohort. Environmental research : ER : a journal of environmental sciences, Vol. 111, H. 6. pp. 744-750.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6002198

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Several studies have suggested that children exposed to a farm environment are protected against allergies and asthma. The present work is an environmental study nested within the PASTURE cohort and includes 97 farmers and 74 non-farmers in three regions of the Alpine Arc (Switzerland, France and Germany). The objectives were to determine and compare the fungi and actinomycetes present in farming and non-farming environments (children's bedrooms and cowsheds), and to identify the agricultural practices associated with an increase in airborne fungi and actinomycetes in cowsheds. Air samples were collected by air pump and were analysed by culture and by direct counting of spores on membranes. During their stay in bedrooms, children living on farms were exposed to significantly greater amounts of Absidia spp., Eurotium spp., Cladosporium spp., Penicillium spp. and mesophilic actinomycetes than children who did not live on farms. Depending on the season, the levels of moulds, yeasts and actinomycetes were from 14 to 82 times higher in cowsheds before feeding the cattle than in children's bedrooms, and from 12 to 464 times higher in cowsheds after feeding than in children's bedrooms. Feeding cattle in cowsheds was associated with a significant peak in airborne moulds and actinomycetes, and this peak was higher in winter than in summer. Silage distribution was associated with low amounts of moulds and actinomycetes. Other significant agricultural factors were the type of cowshed, cowshed volume, method of food distribution to cattle and use of fresh grass. An assessment of the microbiological diversity on farms and in children's rooms may help to determine the factors protecting children from asthma and atopic diseases
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Sozial- und Präventivmedizin
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Environmental Exposures and Health Systems Research > Physical Hazards and Health (Röösli)
UniBasel Contributors:Waser, Marco and Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:08 Nov 2012 16:23
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 16:20

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