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Advanced Indoor Air Quality: Advanced Fungal Spore Identification (1635)

“The course has left me more confident in my identification skills required for PAT requirements and sample analysis.” — Chris W.

“[The course] has expanded my appreciation of the broader range of potential fungi.” — David L.

“It will help develop strategies for minimizing fungal contamination in work areas that I consult.” — James W.


Course schedule: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Friday

Fungal spore identification in the air and direct microscopic examination (DME) of tapes, bulks and swabs on surfaces are the most commonly requested fungal analyses in the IAQ industry. While spore-trap analysis provides valuable data on all aerosolized spore types (viable and non-viable) particles, DME analysis provides us answers if there is actual mold/fungal growth on a given surface. Together, these two types of analyses help investigators solve important indoor air quality issues and make important decisions regarding remediation of affected environments.

This course is designed for working laboratory analysts with moderate knowledge and experience in fungal identification based on spore and actual growth. Participants learn important morphological characters necessary for fungal identification at genus level and, to a lesser extent, at species level. Fundamentals of mycology including ecology, biology and classification of fungi will be discussed. Surface samples such as tapes, bulks and swabs are analyzed using DME techniques for variety of fungal genera in indoor environments. Participants also review laboratory reports and learn interpretation of fungal data.

Participants are highly encouraged to bring their own unusual and interesting samples to class to share with others.

4.5 CM credits

Prerequisite: Course 1630 or equivalent

Day 1
• Introduction to mycology; review of common groups/genera occurring indoors, including hyphomycetes, ascomycetes, basidiomycetes and zygomycetes.
• Ecology, biology and classification
• Morphological characters used for spore identification
• Conidiogenesis
• Mycological literatures
• Spore-trap sample analysis ID to genus and “groups”

Day 2
• Fungal growth concept as it relates to indoor environments
• Spore trap versus DME: review of laboratory reports/data interpretation using spore trap and DME data
• Laboratory techniques used for DME of tapes, bulks and swabs
• Preservation of environmental samples
• Discussion on defensible data
• Spore-trap sample analysis ID to genus and “groups”

Day 3
DME of tapes, bulks and swabs
• Genus and/or species ID

Day 4
DME of tapes, bulks and swabs
• Genus and/or species ID

Day 5
• Examination of selected samples
• Examination of samples from participants
• Concluding remarks
• Open discussion