Potentially harmful secondary metabolites produced by indoor Chaetomium species on artificially and naturally contaminated building materials

Ina Dosen, Kristian Fog Nielsen, Geo Clausen, Birgitte Andersen

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The presence of the fungal genus Chaetomium and its secondary metabolites in indoor environments is suspected to have a negative impact on human health and wellbeing. About 200 metabolites have been currently described from Chaetomium spp., but only the bioactive compound group, chaetoglobosins, have been screened for, and thus detected in buildings. In this study, we used a liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry approach to screen both artificially and naturally infected building materials for all the Chaetomium metabolites described in the literature. Pure agar cultures were also investigated in order to establish differences between metabolite production in vitro and on building materials as well as comparison to non-indoor reference strains. On building materials six different chaetoglobosins were detected in total concentrations of up to 950 mg/m2 from C. globosum along with three different chaetoviridins/chaetomugilins in concentrations up to 200 mg/m2. Indoor Chaetomium spp. preferred wood-based materials over gypsum, both in terms of growth rate and metabolite production. Cochliodones were detected for the first time on all building materials infected by both C. globosum and C. elatum, and are thus candidates as Chaetomium biomarkers. No sterigmatocystin was produced by Chaetomium spp. from indoor environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)34–46
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Gypsum
  • Plywood
  • Chipwood
  • Indoor environment
  • Cochliodone
  • Chaetoviridine
  • Chaetoglobosin

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