Targeted home interventions designed to control moisture can reduce
fungal spore levels in children’s bedrooms by an average of 70% to 80%
when mold is present, according to findings presented during the American
College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting.
A study by the Kansas City Safe and Healthy Home
Partnership (HHP) was conducted as a sub-investigation to determine if the
indoor fungal spore levels, specifically Aspergillus and Penicillium, in
children’s bedrooms were significantly reduced after targeted
interventions. HHP is an environmental home assessment program that provides
education and targeted home interventions for asthmatic children. Children with
persistent asthma also receive a follow-up visit to determine the effect of
these interventions, according to a presentation by Tara Federly, MD, of
Kansas City, Mo.
“This investigation further emphasizes the
importance of evaluating home environments and individualizing interventions in
order to reduce potential triggers for children with asthma. We believe that
routine evaluation of a child's home environment will provide the
individualized care that is required for optimal outcomes in many diseases,
including asthma,” Federly told Infectious Diseases in
Children. “Of course, further investigation is needed to
determine the clinical significance of our findings.”
The researchers analyzed charts of the first 31 families
enrolled in HHP with follow-up visits. Airborne fungal spores were collected in
the child’s bedroom onto a silicon grease-coated glass slide at the
initial and follow-up visit. The spores were counted using light microscopy.
Each family received education about the importance of
reducing indoor mold exposure. Dehumidifiers and moisture-control interventions
were provided based on HHP protocol, including repair of the indoor and outdoor
structures. Only children’s bedrooms with detectable fungal spores on the
initial assessment were included in the study.
Of the 31 charts reviewed, 18 of the children’s
bedrooms had reductions in
fungal spore levels (mean reduction, 77%), one bedroom had no change
and five bedrooms had an increase in spore levels, according to Federly. Seven
of the children’s bedrooms were excluded based on study criteria.
All of the four homes given dehumidifiers had a
reduction in spore levels in the children’s bedrooms, which results in a
mean reduction 70%. Of the 17 homes with other moisture-control interventions,
12 of the children’s bedrooms had a reduction in spore levels (mean
reduction, 81%), one bedroom had no change and four bedrooms had an increase in
spore levels. The children’s bedrooms with an increase in fungal spore
levels are being further investigated.
Overall, Aspergillus and Penicillium spore
levels in the children’s bedrooms were significantly reduced after
targeted interventions (P=.029, Wilcoxon signed-rank test).
Disclosure: Dr. Federly received a travel grant
from Dey Pharma.
For more information:
- Federly T. P32. Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma
and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting; Nov. 3-8, 2011; Boston.