In the present study, despite its selectivity, plate cultivation was partly successful in reflecting increased fungal diversity and/or detecting major indicator fungi arising from building material sources in settled dust samples. This was not, however, consistent this website across all samples, as the masking effect of certain
species occurring in very high concentrations was considerable. ERMI is an index derived from a set of qPCR assays used to describe the indoor fungal burden . Here, the ERMI values were below 5, i.e. relatively low compared to US homes. Vesper et al. reported ERMI values greater than 5 for the highest quartile of randomly selected US homes, whereas over 75% of homes with asthmatic children were above this value . However, no similar data are available in Finland. In the present study, the ERMI index was observed to reflect the overall level of diversity. In our sample material, the group 1 members A. pullulans and Eurotium spp. occurred in significant concentrations in all studied dust samples and in similar concentrations in the index and reference buildings. This suggests that the placement of these species in the indicator group may not be appropriate. Conclusions The present study is the first to assess the effect of water damage and
its remediation on indoor mycobiota using selleck inhibitor universal culture-independent community characterization PX-478 chemical structure methods, and also the first study to compare nucITS sequencing results with an extensive panel of mold specific qPCR assays. Observations were made from a small number of buildings, and thus the findings are descriptive and need to be studied further with larger data sets. In the studied buildings, we found Glutathione peroxidase indications of elevated fungal diversity, as well as the presence of fungi attributable to building growth to be associated with water damage. The community variation between buildings was significant,
and calls for the analysis of larger data sets in order to understand the dynamics of microbial communities between building structures, surfaces and dust. Our results demonstrate that culture-based methods used to characterize indoor mycobiota provide an underestimate of the total diversity, and that many unknown or unsequenced fungal species are present in dust. Despite this, the majority of abundant phylotypes in nucITS clone libraries were affiliated with previously recognized indoor taxa, indicating that culture-dependent and independent methods agree on the dominant indoor taxa. Clone library sequencing was seen as an effective means to characterize indoor communities, and proves extremely useful when attempting to answer research questions on ‘real’ fungal diversity in a given environment.