Ching-Yi Tsai, Prestige EnviroMicrobiology
Tape-lift samples are commonly collected in an indoor environmental quality or mold assessment. The samples are analyzed under the optical microscope for the presence of fungi/mold. In review of over 1,000 tape samples collected throughout the country and analyzed in our laboratory. 90% of samples with presence of fungal growth were accompanied with mites. This observation showed no significant difference from east coast to west coast (87% and 98%, respectively). Our own observations and published research showed that germinating spores and fungal hyphae were observed in mite feces. 57% of samples were found to have insects or their larvae (ants, flies, etc.). Fungal spores were observed in the insect feces. 4% of samples had nematodes. The presence and observations of these organisms are important in the assessment of water impacts in the indoor environment and the forensic evaluation of water intrusion history and microbial growth indoors.