Bacterial and fungal markers in tobacco smoke.

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Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that cigarette smoke contains bacterial and fungal components including lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and ergosterol. In the present study we used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze tobacco as well as mainstream and second hand smoke for 3-hydroxy fatty acids (3-OH FAs) of 10 to 18 carbon chain lengths, used as LPS markers, and ergosterol, used as a marker of fungal biomass. The air concentrations of LPS were 0.0017nmol/m(3) (N=5) and 0.0007/m(3) (N=6) in the smoking vs. non-smoking rooms (p=0.0559) of the studied private houses, and 0.0231nmol/m(3) (N=5) vs. 0.0006nmol/m(3) (N=5) (p=0.0173), respectively, at the worksite. The air concentrations of ergosterol were also significantly higher in rooms with ongoing smoking than in rooms without smoking. A positive correlation was found between LPS and ergosterol in rooms with smoking but not in rooms without smoking. 3-OH C14:0 was the main 3-OH FA, followed by 3-OH C12:0, both in mainstream and second hand smoke and in phenol:water smoke extracts prepared in order to purify the LPS. The Limulus activity of the phenolic phase of tobacco was 3900endotoxin units (EU)/cigarette; the corresponding amount of the smoke, collected on filters from 8 puffs, was 4EU/cigarette. Tobacco smoking has been associated with a range of inflammatory airway conditions including COPD, asthma, bronchitis, alveolar hypersensitivity etc. Significant levels of LPS and ergosterol were identified in tobacco smoke and these observations support the hypothesis that microbial components of tobacco smoke contribute to inflammation and airway disease.

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  • Environmental Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-451
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume438
Issue numberNov.,1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes