University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

A High Abundance of Alternaria alternata Fungi Found in Worcestershire, UK

Apangu, Godfrey ORCID:, Frisk, Carl A. ORCID:, Hanson, Mary, Petch, Geoffrey and Skjøth, C. ORCID: (2019) A High Abundance of Alternaria alternata Fungi Found in Worcestershire, UK. In: University of Worcester Post-graduate Research 'Seeds of Knowledge' Conference, 20 June 2019, The Hive, Worcester, UK. (Unpublished)

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Bioaerosols in the atmosphere include bacteria, viruses, pollen and fungal spores. Airborne spores from the fungal genus Alternaria can trigger respiratory problems such as allergy and asthma in sensitised patients. Over a hundred species of Alternaria exist but not all contain allergens. A. alternata is both common and known to contain allergens. Furthermore, it is an important pathogen, e.g. causing early blight in potatoes. A previous study using optical microscopy reported a high abundance of airborne Alternaria spores in Worcestershire. However, it is unknown whether A. alternata is among the abundant species in the area, as optical methods cannot detect spores at the species level. To investigate that, spores were sampled daily in 2017 at Lakeside Campus of the University of Worcester using a novel and automated technology called Cyclone sampler. The daily samples were analysed using a molecular method: Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), which quantifies the abundance of specific DNA in biological samples. The molecular experiments revealed a high abundance of A. alternata mostly in July and August. This is relevant to allergy and asthma patients and the agricultural industry.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: A. alternata, allergenic, qPCR.
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Depositing User: Philliam Godfrey Apangu
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 11:27
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2020 04:00

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