Assessment of the Airborne Fungal Communities in Repositories of a Cuban Archive: Their Impact in the Documentary Heritage Conservation and the Personnel's Health

Sofia Borrego Alonso, Alian Molina Veloso, Mercedes Castro Marquetti


The microbiological quality of indoor air in workplaces has been linked to the occurrence of disorders and diseases. Archive repositories are environments with a certain level of risk, not only for the conserved documents, but also for the staff´s health, as they are reservoirs for fungal propagules. The aims of this study were to determine the viable and culturable fungi of indoor environments in two air-conditioned repositories of the Cuban Office of the Industrial Property as well as to evaluate the biodeteriogenic potential and some pathogenic capabilities of the isolates. Air samples from both indoor and outdoor environments were taken using a biocollector SAS Super 100 at 100 L/min during 1 min and Petri dishes with appropriate culture media to isolate fungi were used. The isolated strains were qualitatively determined the cellulolytic, amylolytic, proteolytic activity, the excretion of pigments and organic acids (biodeteriogenic risk), as well as the growth capacity at 37ºC and the hemolysins excretion (pathogenic risk).The obtained indoor/outdoor indices indicated that the repositories had a good environmental quality. Seven fungal genera and two non-sporulating mycelia were detected in the air of the repositories with Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium as the predominant ones. The genera Acrodontium and Cylindrocarpon (in particular Acrodontium simplex and Cylindrocarpon lichenicola) were detected for the first time in environments of Cuban archives. More than 70% of the analyzed strains showed high ability to degrade cellulose, starch, and gelatin as well as excreting acids and pigments. The 100% of the spores of the isolated strains can penetrate the upper respiratory while 40% of them were able to grow at 37ºC and excreted hemolysins. These results demonstrate that the fungal environments have a broad biodeteriogenic potential and some of them can be classified as opportunistic human pathogens.

Palabras clave

airborne fungi; air-conditioned repositories; archives; biodeterioration; indoor environments; quality of indoor environmental; pathogenicity

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