Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Biology

Language

English

Abstract

Endotoxins are common indoor biocontaminants. Their levels have been shown to link to many sources and factors. One of them is cockroach infestation but the role of cockroaches and contamination mechanisms are unclear. We hypothesized that not only is cockroach infestation a sign of poor hygiene, but it also contributes to indoor endotoxins via fecal contamination. In this study, different cockroach species were caught in homes. The endotoxin and allergen levels and their ratios in cockroach feces were determined. To estimate the amount of indoor endotoxins that originated from cockroaches, a new approach of using these new cockroach endotoxin and allergen ratios to compare with environmental data was employed. We found that Supella (S.) longipalpa, Periplaneta (P.) australasiae, and Blattella (B.) germanica were dominant in homes. On average, P. australasiae feces had a higher level but greater variation of endotoxins. B. germanica feces had the highest levels of allergens measured. Depending on environmental bacterial load and the type of cockroaches present, cockroach endotoxins in the environment may vary greatly. Cockroaches directly contribute to indoor endotoxins rather than just being a sign of poor hygiene. The type and extent of cockroach infestation should be taken into consideration when assessing and remediating indoor endotoxin contamination.

Keywords

endotoxins, cockroaches, indoor hygiene, environmental assessment

Publication Date

1-2017

Volume

14

Issue

1

Start Page

91

Publisher

MDPI

Peer Reviewed

1

Copyright

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

Funder

Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty Research Grant (FRG2_12-13_068)

DOI

10.3390/ijerph14010091

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010091

ISSN (print)

16604601

ISSN (electronic)

16604601

Included in

Biology Commons

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