ORIGINAL PAPER
Potentially pathogenic yeasts from soil of children’s recreational areas in the city of Łódź (Poland)
 
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1
Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland
2
Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Medical University of Lodz, Pl. Hallera 1, 90-647, Łódź, Poland
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2013;26(3):477–487
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ABSTRACT:
Objectives: Yeasts may become potential human and animal pathogens, particularly for individuals with a depressed immune system. Their presence in the environment, especially in soil, may favour their spread into human ontocenoses. Materials and Methods: Eighty-four soil samples obtained from 21 children's recreational sites in Łódź in autumn 2010 and spring 2011 were evaluated. The yeasts were isolated by classical microbiological methods and identified on the basis of morphological and biochemical features. Results: The fungi were found in 73.8% and in 69.0% of the examined samples collected in autumn and spring, respectively. Among 97 isolates of yeasts, the species potentially pathogenic to humans and animals were Candida colliculosa, C. guilliermondii, C. humicola, C. inconspicua, C. lambica, C. lusitaniae, C. pelliculosa, C. tropicalis, Cryptococcus albidus, C. laurentii, C. neoformans, C. terreus, Kloeckera japonica, Geotrichum candidum, G. penicillatum, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, R. glutinis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Sporobolomyces salmonicolor and Trichosporon cutaneum. The most frequently isolated fungi included the genus Cryptococcus (38 isolates) and two species: Rhodotorula glutinis (15), Trichosporon cutaneum (14). C. neoformans, an etiological factor of cryptococcal meningitis, was present in the sandpits of 3 kindergartens. The Candida species were identified from park playgrounds and school sports fields mainly in autumn 2010 (14 isolates), in spring 2011 - only 1 isolate. The concentration of fungal species in particular samples varied considerably, but in the majority of samples, fungi were present at concentration of up to 1×102 CFU/1 g of soil. Conclusions: Yeasts were present in the soil of parks, schools and kindergarten recreational areas; the fact may pose a health risk to humans, especially to children, and this type of biological pollution should be regarded as a potential public health concern.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087