Aspergillus section fumigati in firefighter headquarters

Carla Viegas, Bianca Gomes, Marta Dias, Elisabete Carolino, Liliana Aranha Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Aspergillus section Fumigati is one of the Aspergillus sections more frequently related to respiratory symptoms and by other health outcomes. This study aimed to characterize Aspergillus section Fumigati distribution in eleven firefighter headquarters (FFHs) to obtain an accurate occupational exposure assessment. Methods: A sampling approach protocol was performed using active (impaction method) and passive sampling methods (floor surfaces swabs, electrostatic dust collectors (EDCs), and settled dust). All samples were analysed by culture-based methods and passive sampling was used for molecular detection of Aspergillus section Fumigati. Results: Of all the matrices, the highest counts of Aspergillus sp. were obtained on settled dust filters (3.37% malt extract agar—MEA, 19.09% dichloran glycerol—DG18) followed by cleaning cloths (1.67% MEA; 7.07% DG18). Among the Aspergillus genus, the Fumigati section was predominant in Millipore and EDC samples in MEA (79.77% and 28.57%, respectively), and in swabs and settled dust filters in DG18 (44.76% and 30%, respectively). The Fumigati section was detected more frequently in DG18 (33.01%) compared to MEA (0.33%). The Fumigati section was observed in azole supplemented media (itraconazole and voriconazole) in several passive sampling methods employed and detected by qPCR in almost all passive samples, with EDCs being the matrix with the highest prevalence (n = 61; 67.8%). Conclusion: This study confirms that Aspergillus sp. is widespread and the Fumigati section is present in all FFHs. The presence of fungi potentially resistant to azoles in the FFHs was also observed. Further studies are needed to identify the best corrective and preventive measures to avoid this section contamination in this specific occupational environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2112
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Azole resistance profile
  • Culture-based methods
  • Molecular tools
  • Sampling approach


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