Pollen, mite and mould samplings by a personal collector at high altitude in Nepal.
Fiorina A., Legnani D., Fasano V., Cogo A., Basnyat B., Passalacqua G., Scordamaglia A.
The new personal portable sampler for detection of environmental biologic particles (Partrap FA52, Coppa, Biella, Italy) was used to evaluate both atmospheric and indoor biologic particles in bedding at high altitudes during two Italian scientific expeditions in Nepal, in 1994 and 1996 respectively. The sampling was performed outdoors and indoors at the following altitudes: Katmandu 1,330 meters (m), LuKla 2,800 m, Namche 3,500 m, Pericle 4,200 m and Piramide 5,050 m. In both expeditions each sample of outdoor and indoor air was obtained by sucking air into the sampler either against the wind during a 6-h period, from 9 am to 3 pm, or from bedding of inhabitants resident at the different altitudes for 5 min. The number of pollens, moulds and mites trapped in each sample were assessed. The statistical analysis of the results by Spearman correlation test revealed a significant inverse correlation (p < 0.02) between altitude and the number of the considered biologic particles for sampling carried out during both the 1994 and 1996 expeditions. Moreover, Wilcoxon paired test showed no significant difference between the biologic sampling obtained in the two expeditions. These results confirm the decrease of the environmental biologic charge in relation to the increase of altitude and prove the efficacy of Partrap FA52 in obtaining reproducible quantitative data.