Amobae in buildings

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Amoebae in buildings


Research group

National Public Health Institute:

  • Terhi Yli-Pirilä
  • Jaana Kusnetsov
  • Aino Nevalainen
  • Maija-Riitta Hirvonen

Kuopio Regional Institute of Occupational Health:

  • Markku Seuri

Correspondence to:

  • Terhi Yli-Pirilä


  • Academy of Finland 2002-2004

Project overview

We have occasionally come across amoebae in the material samples from moisture-damaged buildings sent for microbial analysis to our laboratories. Amoebae are common organisms in water habitats and in soils, and they have been found to carry different bacteria as endosymbionts, some of which are human pathogens. Thus amoebae may have an impact on the microbial flora of present in moldy buildings.

We aim to estimate the prevalence of amoebae in moisture-damaged building materials, and to elucidate the role of amoebae in the microbial ecology of the moisture-damages. Ultimately in the future we aim to find out, are amoebae associated with the adverse health effects associated with moisture and mold in buildings. So far, we have found amoebae in about 22 % of moisture-damaged building material samples, and amoebae seem to statistically significantly occur together with fungi and bacteria often considered as indicators for moisture in buildings.


Key words


Terhi Yli-Pirilä, Jaana Kusnetsov, Susanna Haatainen, Marja Hänninen, Pasi Jalava, Marjut Reiman, Markku Seuri, Maija-Riitta Hirvonen, Aino Nevalainen: Amoebae and other protozoa in material samples from moisture-damaged buildings. Environmental Research, in press. Available online.