ADVANCES IN AEROBIOLOGY
FOR THE PRESERVATION
OF HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH:
A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH
The 11th International Congress of Aerobiology is a good opportunity to acknowledge the state of the art of this multidisciplinary scientific branch. Aerobiology is a scientific discipline focused on the study of airborne organisms and biological materials, like pollen grains, fungal spores, bacteria, viruses, house dust mites, etc. including their release to the air, dispersion, passive transport, deposition and impacts on living systems (humans, animals, plants), ecosystems and buildings. In addition, in museums and libraries, biological particles can represent a biodeterioration hazard both for artifacts and archives. Similarly, in presence of microgravity, spacecrafts represent a particular field of human activity in which the air biological component can damages human health and scientific and technological equipment.
Airborne pollen and fungal spores cause allergic respiratory diseases in humans, with strong repercussions on the quality of life and heavy sanitary costs. The increasing prevalence of upper and lower airway allergic illnesses observed in developed countries in the last few decades has encouraged studies on the relationship between environmental agents and pathologic reactions in humans, together with connections between biological and chemical pollution. Many aspects will be examined in depth: the new techniques used in estimating airborne allergenic determinants, the assessment of climate change on local airborne allergen exposure, the diffusion of ragweed and its pollen up to long distances, and the methods used in different countries to stop ragweed spread, the assessment of diffusion of new potential allergenic plants. In addition, the modelling and forecasting of particles concentrations in the air, including allergens, will be discussed. Particular attention will be paid to quality control in aerobiology, and to public and private indoor environments in order to meet international guidelines. Advances in aerobiology have not only led to improvements in allergology prevention, diagnostic techniques, treatment and specific immunotherapy, but have also had important impact in other fields, such as agriculture, environmental hygiene, forensics, global change, management of indoor air quality, phytopathology, preservation of cultural heritage, urban planning etc.
ICA2018 will contribute to ensure recognition of aerobiology in society and amongst politicians, and to support aerobiological monitoring and environmental information on regional, national and international levels . Pollen, fungal spores, allergens and other biological particles are fundamental components of the air quality assessment and should therefore be included in the corresponding regulations. To reach these goals, an interdisciplinary approach and in particular a close collaboration between aerobiologists and clinicians with botanists, environmentalists, urban designers, public authorities etc. are necessary in order to broaden our horizon, to improve the health and the quality of life, to reduce direct and indirect sanitary costs and to preserve the quality of the environment.
Click here to download the First Announcement
Dr. Roberto Albertini - Chairman ICA 2018
Dr. Bernard Clot – IAA President