Atmospheric concentrations of Cladosporium spp. and Alternaria spp. sporesin Zagreb (Croatia) and effects of some meteorological factors.

Ivana Hrga,  
Research Department, Zagreb Institute of Public Health, Mirogojska 16, HR-10000Zagreb, Croatia. renata.peternel@publichealth-zagreb.hr
Ann Agric Environ Med 2004;11(2):303–307
The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between meteorologicalconditions and Alternaria and Cladosporium spore concentrations in the air of Zagreb in August 2002 andAugust 2003. These months were chosen because they represented climatic extremes. A 7-day VPPS 2000 Hirstvolumetric pollen and spore trap was used for spore sampling. Spores marked as 'others' (ascospores,basidiospores, Epicoccum, Ustilago, Pithomyces, Helminthosporium, Stemphylium, Torula, Botrytis, Didymella)were found to have predominated in the month of August in both 2002 and 2003 with 91.1% and 70.5%, respectively.Because of favourable weather conditions (higher air temperature and minimal precipitation) in August2003, the concentrations of Alternaria and Cladosporium spores were 3.4-fold those recorded in the samemonth in 2002. Also, the peak daily concentrations of these spores were measured on days without precipitationand with higher air temperature. Intradiuranal variation in the Alternaria and Cladosporium spore concentrationswas identical in 2002 and 2003 (lowest in 2-hour interval between 06:00-08:00, and highest between 10:00-12:00).In spite of the three-fold increase in the Cladosporium spore concentration in August 2003, the borderlineconcentration of 3,000 spores/m3 air that is associated with the occurrence of allergic reactions wasonly exceeded on a single day. Air concentration of Alternaria spores exceeded borderline value of 100spores/m3 air on as many as 17 days, suggesting that at that time of the year the risk of allergic reactionwas only present in individuals allergic to this spore type.