Quantitative PCR analysis of molds in the dust from homes of asthmatic children in North Carolina
The vacuum bag (VB) dust from the homes of 19 asthmatic children in North Carolina (NC) was analyzed by mold specific quantitative PCR. These results were compared to the analysis of the VB dust from 176 homes in the HUD, American Healthy Home Survey of homes in the US. The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) was calculated for each of the homes. The mean and standard deviation (SD) of the ERMI values in the homes of the NC asthmatic children was 16.4 (6.77), compared to the HUD survey VB ERMI value mean and SD of 11.2 (6.72), and was significantly greater (t-test, p = 0.003) in the NC asthmatic children’s homes. The molds Chaetomium globosum, Aspergillus fumigatus, and the Eurotium Group were the primary species in the NC homes of asthmatics, making the ERMI values significantly higher (p < 0.02 for each). Vacuum bag dust analysis may be a useful method for estimating the mold burden in a home.