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Fungal contamination of wind instruments: Immunological and clinical consequences for musicians

Abstract : INTRODUCTION: Playing a wind instrument is an increasingly reported cause of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. However, current knowledge about contamination of wind instruments by fungi and specific fungal sensitization is scarce. Therefore, we aimed: (i) to assess the current prevalence and type of fungal contamination of wind instruments, (ii) to identify potential risk factors associated with instrument contamination, and (iii) to evaluate the prevalence of sensitization to these fungi among musicians. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Musicians from music schools in eastern France and who played a wind instrument were prospectively recruited (NCT01487850). The mouthpiece and the reed of their instrument were sampled to quantify the magnitude and type of fungi. Each subject had a physical examination, a mycological analysis of saliva and a blood sample in search of serum precipitins against the most frequent fungi isolated from instruments. The results were compared with those of 40 healthy non-exposed controls. RESULTS: Forty musicians playing a wind instrument (bassoon, clarinet, oboe, saxophone) were included. (i) 95% of wind instruments were colonized by fungi, mainly with Phoma spp., Penicillium spp. and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa; (ii) absence of systematic drying of the instrument was a main contributing factor; (iii) serum precipitins were significantly more present in the musicians' sera than in control sera and were consistent with the fungi present in their instrument. CONCLUSION: This study reveals a constant and specific fungal contamination among wind reed instruments with a significant sensitization among musicians, pleading in favour of regular instrument cleaning. Physicians should be aware of this possible source of antigenic exposure.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 12:14:23 PM
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Thibaud Soumagne, Gabriel Reboux, Flora Metzger, Sandrine Roussel, Annick Lefebvre, et al.. Fungal contamination of wind instruments: Immunological and clinical consequences for musicians. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2019, 646, pp.727-734. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.284⟩. ⟨hal-02380578⟩



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