[Frontiers in Bioscience E3, 108-114, January 1, 2011]

Spore trap analysis and MSQPCR in evaluating mold burden: a flooded gymnasium case study

King-Teh Lin1, Michael Schrantz2, Oyungerel Sandagdorj1, Yen-Fang Keng1, Gregory Boothe3, Stephen Joseph Vesper4

1Mycometrics, LLC, 11 Deer Park Drive, Suite 210, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852, USA, 2Environmental Analytics, P.O. Box 57605, Tucson, AZ 85732, USA, 3EHS Services, LLC, 115 Hazel Path, Suite 3, Hendersonville, TN 37075, USA, 4United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), 26 West M. L. King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Methods
3.1. Study design
3.2. Sampling strategy
3.3. Air Sampling
3.4. Dust sampling
3.5. Spore trap analysis
3.6. MSQPCR analysis of dust samples
3.7. DNA-based analysis
3.8. Statistical analysis
4.1. Spore trap data
4.2. MSQPCR data
5. Discussion
6. Acknowledgment
7. References


A school gymnasium was accidentally flooded by the fire-suppression sprinkler system. The surface water was removed immediately and, after 10 days, a professional firm engaged to dry the environment. Twenty five days after the flooding, the school decided to evaluate whether there was any mold growth in the gymnasium. The inspector used two approaches, traditional air samples or a DNA-based analysis of dust samples. Thirty five-minute air samples (for total of 75 L of air each sample) were collected with Air-O-Cell™ (AOC) cassettes and the mold structures (MS) were quantified by microscopy. These samples were compared to two identical outdoor air samples. As an alternative, two dust samples were collected and quantified by mold specific quantitative PCR (MSQPCR). Comparisons of indoor to outdoor mold concentrations in air samples were inconclusive, but applying MSQPCR to the investigation of this water-damaged environment provided a more reliable and useful answer to the extent of mold contamination than did the spore trap analysis.