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Swimming pools and fungi: An environmental epidemiology survey in Italian indoor swimming facilities

Brandi, G., Sisti, M., Paparini, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-1105-5184, Gianfranceschi, G., Schiavano, G.F., De Santi, M., Santoni, D., Magini, V. and Romano-Spica, V. (2007) Swimming pools and fungi: An environmental epidemiology survey in Italian indoor swimming facilities. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 17 (3). pp. 197-206.

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A growing number of people attend swimming facilities for recreational activities, rehabilitative treatments, or sport. Filamentous fungi and yeast can be isolated from contaminated air, water and surfaces and may represent a biological risk for employees and users. Here we investigated the occurrence of mycotic species, in a sample of Italian swimming pools (n = 10). Detection and identification of isolated species were achieved by cultural and morphological methods. Results revealed moderate mycotic titres and a high biodiversity. Penicillium spp., Aspergillus spp., Cladosporium spp. and Alternaria sp., were constantly detected in air and surfaces sampled by the swimming area, while pathogenic yeast Candida albicans was never detected. Fusarium spp. was the most common taxon isolated from surfaces. For one facility, we typed the genotypic profiles and studied, by genetic typing, the spatial and temporal distribution of isolates. Phylogenetic relationships between species were analysed by alignment of small ribosomal subunit RNA sequences.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2007 Taylor & Francis.
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