Airborne fungi in an intensive care unit

Abstract The presence of airborne fungi in Intensive Care Unit (ICUs) is associated with increased nosocomial infections. The aim of this study was the isolation and identification of airborne fungi presented in an ICU from the University Hospital of Pelotas – RS, with the attempt to know the place’s environmental microbiota. 40 Petri plates with Sabouraud Dextrose Agar were exposed to an environment of an ICU, where samples were collected in strategic places during morning and afternoon periods for ten days. Seven fungi genera were identified: Penicillium spp. (15.18%), genus with the higher frequency, followed by Aspergillus spp., Cladosporium spp., Fusarium spp., Paecelomyces spp., Curvularia spp., Alternaria spp., Zygomycetes and sterile mycelium. The most predominant fungi genus were Aspergillus spp. (13.92%) in the morning and Cladosporium spp. (13.92%) in the afternoon. Due to their involvement in different diseases, the identified fungi genera can be classified as potential pathogens of inpatients. These results reinforce the need of monitoring the environmental microorganisms with high frequency and efficiently in health institutions.