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Application and Demonstration of Macroarray Analytical Techniques for the Detection of Fungal Bioaerosols in Buildings

Primary Partner: Bluepoint Environmental, LLC
Project Type: TAD 2007
Web Address: http://syracusecoe.org/documents/2008/6/TAD_II_2007_Summary_Sheets.pdf

Technical Description:

This material is based upon work supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under Award Number EPA 05 X-83232501-0.

The main objective of this project is to improve the ability to detect and characterize fungal bioaerosols in indoor environments through the integration of macroarray analytical techniques in a commercial laboratory. As medical researchers continue to evaluate the health effects of fungi (indoor bioaerosols), it is imperative that the analytical technologies being employed are as accurate, rigorous, and reproducible as possible. Correlations of health effects to individual species or genera based on inaccurate identifications are counterproductive to this critical research.

Expected Outcomes:

Determine whether macroarray analytical technology can be successfully integrated into a commercial laboratory, and then to test its efficacy and accuracy as an indoor bioaerosols assessment tool.

Accomplishments:

The project has been completed. Although there were some significant changes to the scope and application of the project, the overall results are very encouraging and provide a tremendous foundation for future research endeavors within this field. Macroarray, as an analytical technology has proven to be vastly more reliable and accurate than current commercial analytical technologies.

Task 1. Equipment Acquisition and Personnel Training
All necessary equipment has been obtained by SUNYâ€ESF to perform DNA extraction, PCR, membrane preparation, and hybridizations. The research team is meeting biweekly for training sessions in the wood decay laboratory at SUNYâ€ESF.

Task 2. Field Testing and Analytical Efficacy Evaluation
Currently, samples analyzed by macroarray consist of mycelium and spores extracted from in vitro cultures of fungi. One of the primary challenges of this project is to develop, in consultation and collaboration with ESF, a sampling methodology in which fungal bioaerosols can be efficiently collected and analyzed by macroarray analysis.

Benefits:

This technology holds great promise as an enhanced method to identify and assess fungal bioaerosols in the indoor environment.

For more information:
http://www.bluepointenvironmental.com/docs/esf-grant-summary.pdf

Presentations:

The research team provided a poster presentation at the 2008 annual meeting of the Mycological Society of America taking place at Penn State in August of 2008 and the 8th annual Syracuse CoE Symposium.

Researcher Information:

http://www.bluepointenvironmental.com/about.php

http://www.syracuse.com/progress/index.ssf/2010/02/10_members_of_generation_e_wor.html



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