Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2017 Feb;28(1):72-78. doi: 10.1111/pai.12665. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Identification of fungal candidates for asthma protection in a large population-based study.

Author information

1
Dr von Hauner Children's Hospital, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Munich, Germany.
2
Chair of Animal Hygiene, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.
3
Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.
4
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
5
University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
6
Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.
7
Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.
8
The German Center for Lung Research (DZL), München, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Exposure to molds has been related to asthma risk both positively and negatively, depending on the environmental setting. The pertinent results are based on generic markers or culturing methods although the majority of present fungi cannot be cultured under laboratory conditions. The aim of the present analysis was to assess environmental dust samples for asthma-protective fungal candidates with a comprehensive molecular technique covering also non-cultivable and non-viable fungi.

METHODS:

Mattress dust samples of 844 children from the GABRIELA study were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) of the fungus-specific internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Known asthma candidate species were tested for their associations with asthma, and further gel positions were sought to explain the above. As a second, data-driven, analysis, we tested the association of each individual gel position with asthma.

RESULTS:

In the hypothesis-driven approach, Penicillium chrysogenum emerged with an odds ratio of 0.80 (95% confidence interval 0.66-0.96; p = 0.020). The effect size was changed by 39% toward the null when adjusting for the two bands 683 (DNA of Metschnikowia sp., Aureobasidium spp.) and 978 (DNA of Epicoccum spp., Galactomyces spp., uncultured Penicillium). The data-driven approach yielded an additional band (containing DNA of Pseudotaeniolina globosa) with reduced risk of asthma (OR = 0.80 [0.66-0.96], p = 0.012).

CONCLUSIONS:

A large population-based study revealed several fungal taxa with inverse associations with childhood asthma. Molds produce a variety of bioactive compounds with detrimental but also beneficial immunoregulatory capacities, which renders them promising targets for further asthma research.

KEYWORDS:

asthma; childhood; environmental fungi; farm; mattress dust

PMID:
27711990
DOI:
10.1111/pai.12665
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center