Introduction: Fungal contamination in hospitals has been a major health concern, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Construction programs increase the risk of fungal contaminations in hospitals. This study aimed to monitor and compare fungal contamination in two hospitals in Bandar Abbas, Iran, one of which was undergoing construction. Furthermore, the study determined the seasonal variations in the prevalence of fungi identified in the two hospitals. 

Methods: This study was conducted during April-December 2014 on 146 soil samples collected from the Shahid Mohammadi Hospital that was under construction and the Shariati Hospital that was not involved in any construction program. The soil samples were collected in the morning from the dust on the ground. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-squared test.

Results: Among the fungal cultures, 83.56% were found to be positive. We identified 122 fungal isolates, representing 16 genera, 13 of the genera were isolated from Shahid Mohammadi Hospital and 14 were isolated from Shariati Hospital. Aspergillus was the dominant fungus in both hospitals. In Shariati Hospital, 100% of Aspergiluss niger were isolated in the summer. In the spring, Mocur was dominant in both hospitals, and, in the winter, Rhizopus spp. was the dominant fungus in Shahid Mohammadi Hospital (55.5%); however, this fungus was dominant in spring in Shariati Hospital (66.7%). In Shariati Hospital, Scopulariopsis, Drechslera, Penicillium spp., and Yeasts were present only in the fall, whereas yeast was the dominant fungus in summer (100%) in Shahid Mohammadi Hospital. There were not significant differences between two hospitals, with the exception of Fusarium spp., which was more frequent in Shariati Hospital, where no renovation was taking place (p = 0.008).  

Conclusion: Our results indicated that specific ecological niches existed in the two general hospitals in Bandar Abbas. Special attention should be paid to environmental control programs. It is recommended that soil exposure be considered in patients’ histories in addition to the current focus on infections related to food and water.


Keywords: fungi, soil microbiology, hospital, seasons
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