Environmental and genetic analysis of pollen and fungal spores air samples

Abraham, Femin Irene 2019, Environmental and genetic analysis of pollen and fungal spores air samples, B.Science (Hons) thesis, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University.

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Title Environmental and genetic analysis of pollen and fungal spores air samples
Author Abraham, Femin Irene
Institution Deakin University
School School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
Degree type Honours
Degree name B.Science (Hons)
Thesis advisor Suphioglu CenkORCID iD for Suphioglu Cenk orcid.org/0000-0003-0101-0668
Date submitted 2019-11-08
Keyword(s) allergy
fungal spores
thunderstorm asthma
Summary Allergenic pollen and fungal spores are ubiquitous in the atmosphere, triggering allergic diseases when disseminated into the atmosphere in large quantities and impacting negatively on the socio-economic quality of life. Majority of allergies caused by aeroallergens trigger IgE mediated type I hypersensitivity, affecting up-to 30% of the population worldwide. Diseases include allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and more recently, thunderstorm asthma. To our knowledge, pollen grains are the predominant allergenic source during flowering seasons. However, aerobiological and phenological studies regarding the diversity of pathogenic pollen and fungal spores in Melbourne is limited, especially during winter when flowering seasons are low. An association between ruptured Lolium Perenne (ryegrass) pollen and thunderstorm asthma has been found in past studies. Thus, this project targeted the identification of the predominant allergenic substances in the ambient atmosphere of Geelong during winter by sampling air particles from May-August 2019 using a Burkard 24-hour pollen and spore trap and conducting light microscopy analysis using a pollen and spore atlas for identification. Meteorological factors causing the dissemination of aeroallergens and rupturing of ryegrass pollen was analysed to prove their association to allergic diseases and thunderstorm asthma using meteorological data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Cladosporium, Coprinus, and unidentified fungal spores predominated the air surrounding Geelong in winter. Myrtaceae and Cupressaceae were the predominant pollen types, but their concentrations were comparatively low. Aeroallergen concentrations associated positively to relative humidity but exhibited no correlation to temperature, rainfall, and sunlight. These parameters had no impact on grass pollen rupturing and pollen distribution in the atmosphere. Further analysis proving the association of aeroallergens with meteorological factors and understanding seasonal trends is important for designing allergy diagnosis and prevent strategies as well as educating the public about appropriate precautionary measures.
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 0502 Environmental Science and Management
Description of original 85 p.
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Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30133247

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