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Lab Analyses. what they can tell you what they can’t and how to know the difference. Sample Types. direct microscopic bulk sample, tape lift, BioStrip culture samples bulk sample, swab, Hycon spore traps Air-O-Cell, MCEM, Micro-5 viable air samples RCS, Andersen. Direct Microscopic.

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lab analyses

Lab Analyses

what they can tell you

what they can’t

and how to know the difference

sample types
Sample Types
  • direct microscopic
      • bulk sample, tape lift, BioStrip
  • culture samples
      • bulk sample, swab, Hycon
  • spore traps
      • Air-O-Cell, MCEM, Micro-5
  • viable air samples
      • RCS, Andersen
direct microscopic
Direct Microscopic

will tell you

  • is there a fungus growing here?
  • what is it?

but not

  • how much of it is there?
  • how widespread is it?
  • how long has it been there?
sample types1
Sample Types
  • direct microscopic
      • bulk sample, tape lift, BioStrip
  • culture samples
      • bulk sample, swab, Hycon
  • spore traps
      • Air-O-Cell, MCEM, Micro-5
  • viable air samples
      • RCS, Andersen
cultured samples
Cultured Samples

can tell you

  • could viable fungal propagules be isolated from the substrate?
    • will they grow and thrive in vitro?
  • what type of fungi were isolated?
  • how many?

but not

  • were they actually growing there?
sample types2
Sample Types
  • direct microscopic
      • bulk sample, tape lift, BioStrip
  • culture samples
      • bulk sample, swab, Hycon
  • spore traps
      • Air-O-Cell, MCEM, Micro-5
  • viable air samples
      • RCS, Andersen
spore traps
Spore Traps

can tell you

  • how many fungal elements were in the air at the moment of sampling?
  • based on their appearance, to which fungal grouping do they belong?
spore traps1
Spore Traps

can’t tell you

  • are the elements living or dead?
  • precisely what are they?
  • is there fungal growth in the area, and where?
  • will they still be there tomorrow?
  • is the room safe?
sample types3
Sample types
  • direct microscopic
      • bulk sample, tape lift, BioStrip
  • culture samples
      • bulk sample, swab, Hycon
  • spore traps
      • Air-O-Cell, MCEM, Micro-5
  • viable air samples
      • RCS, Andersen
viable air samples
Viable Air Samples

can tell you

  • how many culturable fungal elements were in the air at the moment of sampling?
  • in culture, will they produce enough distinguishing characteristics to name them?
  • if so, to which genus and/or species do they belong?
viable air samples1
Viable Air Samples

can’t tell you

  • is there non-viable fungal material in the air?
  • is there fungal growth in the area, and where?
  • will they still be there tomorrow?
  • is the room safe?
direct microscopy
Direct Microscopy

SAMPLE NO.:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Location:

wine

cellar

ballroom

library

drawing room

powder room

attic

FUNGAL IDENTIFICATION: ELEMENTS:

MICROSCOPIC OBSERVATIONS (RATING):

Acremonium mycelia

spores

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1+

2+

Cladosporium mycelia

spores

2+

3+

-

3+

-

1+

-

tr

-

-

-

-

Penicillium mycelia

spores

-

-

-

-

-

1+

-

-

-

-

-

2+

Stachybotrys mycelia

spores

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

tr

1+

1+

1+

basidiospores NOS

-

tr

-

tr

-

-

hyphal fragments, pigmented

-

tr

-

tr

-

2+

unknown spores, pigmented, globose

-

tr

-

-

-

tr

OTHER OBSERVATIONS:

inorganic and organic microdebris

1+

1+

2+

3+

-

1+

mites

-

-

-

-

-

tr

mite faeces

-

-

-

-

-

1+

FUNGAL GROWTH INDICATED?:

Y

Y

?

N

Y

Y

cultured samples1
Cultured Samples

Cultured Bulk Samples

SAMPLE NO.:

B1

B2

B3

B4

B5

B6

Medium:

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

RBA

LOD (CFU/g):

3100

240

480

110

4500

800

Location:

carpet

air filter

dust

pipe wrap

carpet

fibreglass

FUNGAL IDENTIFICATION:

COMPOSITION (CFU/g)*

Alternaria alternata

0

0

0

0

27,000

0

Aspergillus versicolor group

310,000

1,200

5,800

0

0

0

Cladosporium cladosporioides

6,200

720

0

0

9,000

0

Penicillium subgenus Penicillium

0

240

0

0

9,000

12,000

sterile mycelium

0

480

8,200

0

0

0

yeast

0

720

900

0

450,000

0

TOTAL (CFU/g):

316,200

3,360

14,900

NFG

500,000

12,000

microbial populations in duct dust
Microbial populations in duct dust
  • Standard method to test duct dust for mould is to calculate CFU/g (NADCA)
  • This method does not work
  • Better to test CFU/100cm2
  • Here\'s why...
slide15

BEFORE CLEANING:

Mass of dust sampled = 0.1 g

Yielded 100 fungal colonies

Total fungal concentration = 1000 CFU/g

AFTER CLEANING:

Mass of dust sampled = 0.01 g

Yielded 50 fungal colonies

Total fungal concentration = 2000 CFU/g

cultured samples2
Cultured Samples

Cultured Swab Samples

†- = not observed; 1+ = 100-101 CFU/plate; 2+ = 101-102 CFU/plate; 3+ = 102-103 CFU/plate; 4+ = >103

spore traps2
Spore Traps

AIR-O-CELL SAMPLE NO.:

1

2

3

4

5

6

Location:

laundry

utility rm

kitchen

bedroom

attic

outdoors

Serial #:

XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

Expiry date:

12/08

12/08

12/08

12/08

12/08

12/08

Volume (L):

75

75

75

75

75

75

Magnification (x):

500

500

500

1000

1000

1000

Background (rating)§:

1+

1+

1+

2+

3+

2+

No. of transects enumerated:

10

10

10

3

10

5

FUNGAL IDENTIFICATION†:

COMPOSITION (raw count) approx. % of TOTAL‡

Alternaria

(2)

7%

(tr)

tr

(4)

4%

(tr)

tr

(4)

6%

(50)

31%

ascospores NOS

(3)

11%

(2)

4%

(16)

16%

-

(16)

25%

(20)

12%

Aspergillus / Penicillium

-

-

-

(126)

69%

(2)

3%

(tr)

tr

basidiospores NOS

(12)

44%

(10)

19%

(62)

63%

-

(22)

34%

(62)

39%

Cladosporium

-

(30)

58%

(11)

11%

(3)

tr

(10)

16%

(12)

7%

hyphal fragments, pigmented

(1)

4%

(2)

4%

(2)

2%

-

(2)

3%

(6)

4%

Stachybotrys

(1)

4%

-

-

-

-

-

unknown spores, hyaline, globose

(6)

22%

(6)

12%

(3)

3%

(45)

25%

(3)

5%

(3)

tr

unknown spores, pigmented, globose

(2)

7%

(2)

4%

(1)

tr

(8)

4%

(5)

8%

(8)

5%

SUMMARY DATA¶:

TOTAL (raw count):

27

52

99

182

64

161

LOD (elements / m3):

44

44

44

291

87

175

TOTAL (elements / m3):

1,200

2,300

4,300

53,000

5,600

28,000

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