Endotoxin, ergosterol, muramic acid and fungal DNA in dust from schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia — Associations with rhinitis and sick building syndrome (SBS) in junior high school students

Norbäck, Dan, Hashim, Jamal H., Markowicz, Pawel, Cai, Gui-Hong, Hashim, Zailina, Ali, Faridah and Larsson, Lennart, (2015). Endotoxin, ergosterol, muramic acid and fungal DNA in dust from schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia — Associations with rhinitis and sick building syndrome (SBS) in junior high school students. Science of the Total Environment, 545-546 95-103

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Norbäck, Dan
    Hashim, Jamal H.
    Markowicz, Pawel
    Cai, Gui-Hong
    Hashim, Zailina
    Ali, Faridah
    Larsson, Lennart
    Title Endotoxin, ergosterol, muramic acid and fungal DNA in dust from schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia — Associations with rhinitis and sick building syndrome (SBS) in junior high school students
    Appearing in Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
    Volume 545-546
    Publication Date 2015-12-31
    Place of Publication London
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page 95
    End page 103
    Language eng
    Abstract This paper studied associations between ocular symptoms, rhinitis, throat and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue in students by ethnicity and in relation to exposure to chemical microbial markers and fungal DNA in vacuumed dust in schools in Malaysia. A total of 462 students from 8 randomly selected secondary schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, participated (96% response rate). Dust was vacuumed from 32 classrooms and analysed for levels of five types of endotoxin as 3-hydroxy fatty acids (C10, C12, C14, C16 and C18 3-OH), muramic acid, ergosterol and five sequences of fungal DNA. Multiple logistic regression was applied. Totally 11.9% reported weekly ocular symptoms, 18.8% rhinitis, 15.6% throat and 11.1% dermal symptoms, 20.6% headache and 22.1% tiredness. Totally 21.1% reported pollen or furry pet allergy (atopy) and 22.0% parental asthma or allergy. Chinese students had less headache than Malay and Indian had less rhinitis and less tiredness than Malay. Parental asthma/allergy was a risk factor for ocular (odds ratio = 3.79) and rhinitis symptoms (OR = 3.48). Atopy was a risk factor for throat symptoms (OR = 2.66), headache (OR = 2.13) and tiredness (OR = 2.02). There were positive associations between amount of fine dust in the dust samples and ocular symptoms (p < 0.001) and rhinitis (p = 0.006). There were positive associations between C14 3-OH and rhinitis (p < 0.001) and between C18 3-OH and dermal symptoms (p = 0.007). There were negative (protective) associations between levels of total endotoxin (LPS) (p = 0.004) and levels of ergosterol (p = 0.03) and rhinitis and between C12 3-OH and throat symptoms (p = 0.004). In conclusion, the amount of fine dust in the classroom was associated with rhinitis and other SBS symptoms and improved cleaning of the schools is important. Endotoxin in the school dust seems to be mainly protective for rhinitis and throat symptoms but different types of endotoxin could have different effects. The ethnic differences in symptoms among the students deserve further attention.
    Keyword endotoxin
    microbial markers
    Environment
    Sick building syndrome (SBS)
    Rhinitis
    School students
    Fungal DNA
    Malaysia
    Copyright Holder Elsevier B.V.
    Copyright Year 2015
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISSN 0048-9697
    DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.12.072
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    Created: Wed, 19 Oct 2016, 17:25:42 JST by Cheah, Swee Neo on behalf of UNU IIGH