Assessment of Microbial Air Quality of Nashik City with Particular Reference to Mucorales Fungi, and in Vitro Evaluation of Two Triazole Antifungal Drugs against the Prevalent Mucor Species

Borkar, S. G., Ajayasree, T. S., Riddhi Damale


Air pollution particularly that of particulate matter (PM 2.5, PM 2.10), carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, and air microbial contaminants, has serious consequences on human health. Air pollution in metros and cities around the world is measured for the above parameters except for the microbial air contaminants. However, microbial air contaminants are important sources of microbial infection in humans and particularly airborne fungi are known to cause diseases like Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis in immunocompromised patients which are about 160 million in the world.

In the year 2021, Mucormycosis disease was reported as a post-covid infection in several states of India as a fatal disease caused by a black fungus (Mucor) prevalent in the atmospheric air. In the present study, we assessed the microbial air quality (colony forming unit of microbes/m3 of air) of Nashik city air, in India, for its microbial contaminant, particularly Mucor sp., and further the prevalent Mucor sp. was evaluated for its reaction to two triazole antifungal drugs viz. Itraconazole and Fluconazole available in medical stores.

The air quality index of 90 CFU/tidal volume for Mucor species was regarded as safe, based on the studies. Both the triazole drugs at their active ingredient concentration (1000 µg/mL) were unable to check the growth of Mucor fungi. The paper discussed in detail the methods for enumeration of microbial contaminant/m3 of air and in tidal volume.

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