Comparative study of airborne Alternaria conidia levels in two cities in Castilla-La Mancha (central Spain), and correlations with weather-related variables
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Area of Botany. Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain
Deptartment of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biology, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(2):227-232
Alternaria conidia are among the airborne biological particles known to trigger allergic respiratory diseases. The presented paper reports on a study of seasonal variations in airborne Alternaria conidia concentrations in 2 cities in the central Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete and Toledo. The influence of weather-related variables on airborne conidia levels and distribution was also analysed. Sampling was carried out from 2008-2010 using a Hirst sampler, following the methodology established by the Spanish Aerobiology Network. Annual airborne Alternaria conidia counts were higher in Toledo (annual mean 3,936 conidia) than in Albacete (annual mean 2,268 conidia). Conidia were detected in the air throughout the year, but levels peaked between May-September. Considerable year-on-year variations were recorded both in total annual counts and in seasonal distribution. A significant positive correlation was generally found between mean daily Alternaria counts and both temperature and hours of sunlight, while a significant negative correlation was recorded for relative humidity, daily and cumulative rainfall, and wind speed. Regression models indicated that between 31%-52% of the variation in airborne Alternaria conidia concentrations could be explained by weather-related variables.
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