Xerotolerant Cladosporium sphaerospermum Are Predominant on Indoor Surfaces Compared to Other Cladosporium Species

Frank J J Segers, Martin Meijer, Jos Houbraken, Robert A Samson, Han A B Wösten, Jan Dijksterhuis

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Indoor fungi are a major cause of cosmetic and structural damage of buildings worldwide and prolonged exposure of these fungi poses a health risk. Aspergillus, Penicillium and Cladosporium species are the most predominant fungi in indoor environments. Cladosporium species predominate under ambient conditions. A total of 123 Cladosporium isolates originating from indoor air and indoor surfaces of archives, industrial factories, laboratories, and other buildings from four continents were identified by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), and a part of the translation elongation factor 1α gene (TEF) and actin gene (ACT). Species from the Cladosporium sphaerospermum species complex were most predominant representing 44.7% of all isolates, while the Cladosporium cladosporioides and Cladosporium herbarum species complexes represented 33.3% and 22.0%, respectively. The contribution of the C. sphaerospermum species complex was 23.1% and 58.2% in the indoor air and isolates from indoor surfaces, respectively. Isolates from this species complex showed growth at lower water activity (≥ 0.82) when compared to species from the C. cladosporioides and C. herbarum species complexes (≥ 0.85). Together, these data indicate that xerotolerance provide the C. sphaerospermum species complex advantage in colonizing indoor surfaces. As a consequence, C. sphaerospermum are proposed to be the most predominant fungus at these locations under ambient conditions. Findings are discussed in relation to the specificity of allergy test, as the current species of Cladosporium used to develop these tests are not the predominant indoor species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e0145415
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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