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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
063. (Collection Care) Impact of Airborne Mycobiota on the Biodeterioration of Materials and Human Health in Three Cuban Heritage Institutions

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Biodeterioration of cultural heritage is enhanced in tropical climates by the high temperatures (T) and relative humidity (RH) during most of the year. In some Cuban heritage institutions, the ventilation or air conditioning is ineffective there is overcrowding and high levels of dust are accumulated favoring the presence of high concentrations of airborne microorganisms. By its effective dispersal mechanisms, wide metabolic versatility and adaptability, anemophilous fungi are the main agents causing alterations and damage to the Cuban documental and museological heritage. The affectations and its intensities on the materials depend on the groups or species that colonize it, the characteristics of the substrate and environmental conditions. Also, numerous studies have established a close relationship between environmental conditions, the presence of anemophilous fungi and their impact on the occurrence of allergic illnesses. Aerobiological studies in heritage institutions let to determine the fungal taxa with higher biodeteriogenic and pathogenic potential in the environment, important issues for preventive conservation strategies and quality of life of staff. Therefore, the aims were: i) to evaluate the concentration and diversity of airborne mycobiota in three Cuban heritage institutions (one museum and two archives), ii) to characterize the biodeteriogenic and pathogenic capabilities of the isolates. The air samples were taken inside and outside repositories of three heritage buildings located in Old Havana municipality (Havana city) using a biocolector. Two repositories were acclimatized while the other was cross-ventilated natural system. The ecological criteria relative density (RD) and relative frequency (RF) were determined. In the isolated strains cellulolytic, amylolytic, proteolytic activity and excretion of pigments and organic acids were determined qualitatively, as well as the ability to grow at 37oC and toxins secretion. The fungal concentrations in repositories did not exceed the 250 CFU/m3 which were positively correlated with RH (p≤0.05). However, the museum repository showed the highest concentrations and RH, such issues suggest a close relationship between the two variables. Twenty-two genera and three mycelia nonsporulating were detected; this is evidence of fungal diversity in these ecosystems. Genera Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penici¬llium were predominated according to RF, its RD in each repository were related to ventilation and dust accumulation. The 82% of isolates showed high ability to degrade the organic compounds evaluated, excreting acids and pigments, which showed its broad biodeteriogenic potential while 40% were able to grow at 37°C and secrete toxins, for that reason they can be classified as dangerous opportunistic human pathogens. The most dangerous strains for materials and staff health according to in vitro assays corresponded to Aspergillus spp.

avatar for Alian Molina Veloso

Alian Molina Veloso

Graduate in Microbiology, National Archive of the Republic of Cuba
Researcher and Assistant Professor from the Preventive Conservation Laboratory of the National Archive of the Republic of Cuba. Member of preventive conservation group of Historical archives Cuban system. Specialist documentary biodeterioration, research in the field of microbiology... Read More →

avatar for Sofía Borrego Alonso

Sofía Borrego Alonso

Microbiologist, Head of the Laboratory of Preventive Conservation, National Archive of the Republic of Cuba (NARC)
Sofia Borrego Alonso, PhD in Biological Sciences (2002) and MSc. in Microbiology (1985). Borrego works at the National Archives of Cuba and is a Professor at the Havana University. She has carried out preservation consultant work in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic... Read More →
avatar for Oderlaise Valdés Pérez

Oderlaise Valdés Pérez

Chemical engineer, National Archive of the Republic of Cuba
Chemical engineer, a specialist in physical and chemical processes involved in the documentary deterioration.

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower