Viable Fungi in Indoor Air in Homes and Schools in the Sør-Varanger Community During Winter

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 1995 Nov;6(4):181-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.1995.tb00282.x.


The present study investigated the content of fungal aerospores in homes and schools of house-dust-mite (HDM)-sensitized and control children in a subarctic area. During winter, airborne microfungi were collected from the homes and schools of 19 HDM-sensitized children and 19 nonatopic controls, all living in the community of Sør-Varanger, northern Norway. The samples were cultivated and microfungal growth was identified microscopically. Indoor humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were measured. Housing conditions and sociodemographic and symptom data were obtained by a questionnaire. Penicillium was the most common microfungus in both homes and schools, followed by various yeasts, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Mucor. The number of infected homes was equal in the HDM-sensitized group and the control group, but aerospore counts were higher in the HDM-sensitized group than in the control group. The lowest aerospore counts were found in the schools. High aerospore counts also appeared to be related to high indoor humidity. The keeping of pets and damp indoor conditions were more frequent in homes of HDM-sensitized children than in the control group, whereas parental smoking and carpeting occurred with equal frequency in both groups. This indicates that no allergy sanitation measures had been undertaken, especially in the homes of the HDM-sensitized children.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / adverse effects
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Cold Climate / adverse effects
  • Dust / adverse effects
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Mites / immunology
  • Norway
  • Schools*
  • Seasons
  • Spores, Fungal / isolation & purification*


  • Allergens
  • Dust