Presentation on theme: "Unseen Passengers: What’s really with you when you drive? Brittany Schlorff, Department of Biology, York College Introduction ▪ Car air filters, usually."— Presentation transcript:
Unseen Passengers: What’s really with you when you drive? Brittany Schlorff, Department of Biology, York College Introduction ▪ Car air filters, usually made of fleece and activated charcoal (Vonberg et al., 2010), are used to prevent airborne microbials and particles from entering the cabin; however, not every filter is the same. ▪ These microbials can be classified by determining whether they have septate hyphae (ascomycetes) or aseptate hyphae (zygomycetes); however, ascomycetes are more commonly found than zygomycetes. ▪ Once divided, further classification of ascomycetes leads to the identification of conidia, blastoconidia, chlamydospores, arthrospores or sporangiospores (Tortora, 2004). ▪ These fungi can lead to allergies, respiratory illnesses and distresses if exposed to humans. ▪ There has been progress toward determining if fungal colonization in air conditioning units leads to fungal hypersensitivities. This knowledge can lead to better treatment and prevention procedures (Simmons et al., 1997). ▪ Further work in this field can lead to possible economic influences as well as an impact on human health interests when purchasing a vehicle. Acquire filters from Jiffy Lube and car dealerships in York, PA Measure, weigh and take pictures of filters Swab each filter in 4 different areas Take each swab to start 2 streak plates for each swabbed area Incubate 1 plate per swab at room temperature Incubate 1 plate per swab at 37 O C Identify the microbes found on each plate Objectives ▪ To determine the identity of fungal spores present on 6 different filters. ▪ Compare the filters from different cars to determine any difference between the makes of the cars. Conclusions ▪ No clear link can be made between make of the car and the prevalence of identified microbes. ▪ Determination of the most effective car and filter cannot be made, although the Cadillac and Chevrolet seemed to capture the smallest variety of microbes. Acknowledgements Carolyn Mathur, YCP Research Mentor Bridgette Hagerty, YCP Biology Department David Singleton, YCP Biology Department Literature Cited Simmons, R.B., Noble, J.A., Rose, L., Price, D.L., Crow, S.A. and D.G. Ahearn. 1997. Fungal colonization of automobile air conditioning systems. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 19:150-153 Tortora, G., Funke B. and C. Case. 2004. Microbiology: An Introduction. 8 th ed. Pearson Education Inc, San Francisco, CA Vonberg, R.P., Gastmeier, P., Kenneweg, B., Holdack- Janssen, H., Sohr, D. and I.F. Chaberny. 2010. The microbiological quality of air improves when using air conditioning systems in cars. BMC Infectious Diseases 10:146-152 Sample Number Car Make Fungal Spore Classification Arthrospores Blastoconidia Chlamydospores Conidia Sporangiospores Zygomycetes 1SubaruXXX 3 Acura (n=2) X XX 4ToyotaXX X 5CadillacX X 6Chevrolet XX Comparison of Car Make and Fungal Spores Captured by the Filter Table 1. Microbes present (X) in the 6 filter samples collected. The comparison between car make and classification of microbes trapped can be observed. Figure 3. The number of filters that contained each of the 5 identified ascomycetes. Based on the graph, arthrospores and chlamydospores were found in 4 filters each, blastoconidia was found in 3 filters, conidia was found in one filter and sporangiospores were not found in the samples collected. Each of these is known to cause, or be a precursor for, some illness or disease. Figure 4a: Below (left). An example of a blastoconidia observed when using the microscope to identify a microbial colony found on a streak plate. Figure 4b (right). This is also an example of an ascomycete and is identified as an arthrospore. Methods ▪ Filters were stored in a refrigerator to maintain microbial longevity. ▪ After 5 days, samples were analyzed for microbial colony growth. Figure 1. The flowchart of procedures used to collect and incubate samples. These procedures were determined after initial experiments were conducted to find an efficient protocol. Results ▪ The filter taken from the Subaru, Acura, and the Toyota captured 3 different spores. The Cadillac and the Chevrolet captured 2 different fungal spores (Table 1). ▪ Arthrospores and chlamydospores were found in the most filters followed by blastoconidia, conidia and sporangiospores respectively (Figure 3). ▪ Successful pictures were taken of the fungal spores collected in the various filters (Figures 2 and 4). An example of a cabin air filter used in this experiment Left and Right: Pictures of colonies grown from plating the various car cabin filters Figure 2a: Below (left). An example of a blastoconidia observed when using the microscope. Figure 2b (right). This is also an example of an ascomycete and is identified as a chlamydospore.