Merja Ahonen

Merja Ahonen
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences · Faculty of Technology

PhD

About

37
Publications
8,953
Reads
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1,573
Citations
Introduction
Research and project work within indoor hygiene covering microbial cleanness of surfaces, water and indoor air aiming to break the infection chains. Technological solutions to enhance indoor hygiene. Efficacy, usability and safety of antimicrobial solutions. Studies in real-life settings e.g. in healthcare. Risk assessment of drinking water quality. Projects on environmental protection to reduce the load of harmful substances to water bodies and to reduce climate emissions of municipalities.
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - present
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Position
  • Senior Researcher
May 2006 - August 2013
Prizztech Ltd.
Position
  • Consultant/Researcher
June 1995 - October 2002
Tampere University
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (37)
Article
Increasing the use of hygienic high-touch surfaces with antimicrobial properties in health care and public spaces is one way to hinder the spread of bacteria and infections. This study investigates the antimicrobial efficacy and surface reactivity of commercial laminate and powder coated surfaces treated with silver-doped phosphate glass as antimic...
Article
Full-text available
Presently, there are many different types of wound dressings available on the market. Nonetheless, there is still a great interest to improve the performance and efficiency of these materials. Concerning that, new dressing materials containing natural products, such as medicinal plants that protect the wound from infections but also enhance skin re...
Article
Full-text available
A brand-new office building in Rauma, Finland, was used to study the first five years of PEX-a drinking water pipes in normal use. Both pipe material and water samples from hot and cold-water pipelines were analyzed. Migration of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the PEX-a pipes into the drinking water was observed to decrease rapidly during th...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrite in drinking water is a potentially harmful substance for humans, and controlling nitrite formation in drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs) is highly important. The effect of natural organic matter (NOM) on the formation of nitrite in simulated distribution systems was studied. The objective was to inspect how a reduced NOM concentrat...
Article
Full-text available
Antimicrobial touch surfaces have been introduced in healthcare settings with the aim of supporting existing hygiene procedures, and to help combat the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance. However, concerns have been raised over the potential selection pressure exerted by such surfaces, which might drive the evolution and spread of antimi...
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Full-text available
Organic dirt on touch surfaces can be biological contaminants (microbes) or nutrients for those but is often invisible by the human eye causing challenges for evaluating the need for cleaning. Using hyperspectral scanning algorithm, touch surface cleanliness monitoring by optical imaging was studied in a real‐life hospital environment. As the highl...
Article
Full-text available
This review was initiated by the COST action CA15114 AMICI “Anti-Microbial Coating Innovations to prevent infectious diseases,” where one important aspect is to analyze ecotoxicological impacts of antimicrobial coatings (AMCs) to ensure their sustainable use. Scopus database was used to collect scientific literature on the types and uses of AMCs, w...
Article
Full-text available
We studied the seasonal variation of nitrite exposure in a drinking water distribution system (DWDS) with monochloramine disinfection in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. In Finland, tap water is the main source of drinking water, and thus the nitrite in tap water increases nitrite exposure. Our data included both the obligatory monitoring and a samp...
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Full-text available
Recognized issues with poor hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers, and reports of re-contamination of previously chemically disinfected surfaces through hand contact, emphasize need for novel hygiene methods in addition to those currently available. One such approach involves antimicrobial (nano)-coatings (AMC), whereby integrated active...
Article
Aims: To study stability of biofilms and water quality in pilot scale drinking water copper and PEX pipes in changing conditions (extra disinfection, magnetic water treatment MWT). Methods and results: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of 16S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) to describe total bacterial community and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) to describe act...
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Full-text available
Worldwide, millions of patients are affected annually by healthcare-associated infection (HCAI), impacting up to 80,000 patients in European Hospitals on any given day. This represents not only public health risk, but also an economic burden. Complementing routine hand hygiene practices, cleaning and disinfection, antimicrobial coatings hold promis...
Article
Full-text available
Infections and infectious diseases are considered a major challenge to human health in healthcare units worldwide. This opinion paper was initiated by EU COST Action network AMiCI (AntiMicrobial Coating Innovations) and focuses on scientific information essential for weighing the risks and benefits of antimicrobial surfaces in healthcare settings....
Article
Significance and impact of the study: The efficiency of copper as an antimicrobial material has been noted in laboratory studies and in the hospital environment. The present study further shows that copper exerted an antibacterial effect in different facilities, i.e. in a hospital, a kindergarten, an office building and in a retirement home for th...
Article
Influence of altering magnetic field on chemical properties of water, scale formation and morphology was studied using polyethylene and copper pipes located both in a laboratory pilot-system and in an apartment complex formed by five different buildings each having four or five different homes. In the pilot network, magnetic field decreased calcium...
Article
Vitamin D and its analogues are potent regulators of cell growth and differentiation both in vivo and in vitro. We studied the effects of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) [25(OH)D(3)], 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] and vitamin D analogue, EB 1089, on the growth of a human ovarian cancer cell line, OVCAR-3. We also studied the expression of vit...
Article
Vitamin D inhibits the development and growth of prostate cancer cells. Epidemiologic results on serum vitamin D levels and prostate cancer risk have, however, been inconsistent. We conducted a longitudinal nested case-control study on Nordic men (Norway, Finland and Sweden) using serum banks of 200,000 samples. We studied serum 25(OH)-vitamin D le...
Article
Our recent epidemiological study (Ahonen et al., Cancer Causes Control 11(2000) (847-852)) suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of initiation and progression of prostate cancer. The nested case-control study was based on a 13-year follow-up of about 19000 middle-aged men free of clinically verified prostate cancer. More than one...
Article
The aim was to evaluate the association between serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) level and risk of prostate cancer. The nested case-control study was based on a 13-year follow-up of about 19,000 middle-aged men who attended the first screening visit within the Helsinki Heart Study and were free of clinically verified prostate cancer at baselin...
Article
Keratinocyte growth factor (FGF-7/KGF) is a secreted member of the fibroblast growth factor family, which functions primarily as an important paracrine mediator of cell growth and differentiation. Inhibitory pathways of vitamin D may also involve participation of some growth factors. To determine whether vitamin D may play a role in the expression...
Article
The data suggest that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] and androgens are essential for regulation of growth and differentiation in, e.g., human reproductive tissues. We investigated the possible cross-talk between 1,25(OH)2D3 and androgens in the human ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR-3. Our data demonstrate that 1,25(OH)2D3 and androgen (dihyd...
Article
Two novel antibodies against the mammalian progesterone receptor (PR) were raised and characterized to study the distribution of PR and the effect of estrogen on PR expression in various female murine tissues by immunohistochemistry. There were estrogen-independent constitutive PR expressions in the smooth muscle cells of uterus, uterine blood vess...
Article
Genetic polymorphisms and expression of steroid receptors may explain why some individuals are more at risk of developing prostate cancer. Some risk factors often discussed are androgen stimulation, and vitamin A and D deficiency. Long CAG-repeats in exon 1 of the androgen receptor (AR) gene on the X chromosome seem to have a protective role agains...
Article
BACKGROUND Genetic polymorphisms and expression of steroid receptors may explain why some individuals are more at risk of developing prostate cancer. Some risk factors often discussed are androgen stimulation, and vitamin A and D deficiency. Long CAG-repeats in exon 1 of the androgen receptor (AR) gene on the X chromosome seem to have a protective...
Article
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) has been found to have a variety of physiological functions, including effects on growth and differentiation in normal and malignant cells. The antiproliferative effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 are reported to be mediated through the genomic signaling pathway by binding to a specific high affinity receptor protein, the...
Article
Genomic actions of progesterone are mediated via A and B isoforms of the progesterone receptor (PR). One major factor controlling PR level is progesterone causing negative autoregulation (down-regulation) of the receptor protein. In this work we studied the mechanism whereby progesterone exerts its effects on PR level in the chicken oviduct. We fou...
Article
An immunocapture reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (IC-RT-PCR) method for a highly sensitive analysis of raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV) in infected plants is described. In the method, preliminary purification of virus particles or viral RNA from the plant material is not necessary. Viruses are enriched during the assay by antibodi...

Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
AMICI brings together stakeholders from different countries and disciplines, including knowledge institutes, producers and processors of antimicrobial coatings, and organizations involved in the compliance with international standards on hygiene. The central aim is to evaluate the impact of (introducing) AMC in healthcare on the spread of infections and on the efficacy in fighting HCAI and bacterial resistance to current antibiotics. http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15114
Project
To evaluate the impact of (introducing) AntiMicrobial Coatings in healthcare on the spread of infections and on the efficacy in fighting HealthCare Associated Infections and bacterial resistance to current antibiotics. AMiCI secondary objectives: This Action will coordinate international and cross sectoral research efforts, by a variety of activities such as collaborating with existing projects, organizing new events, jointly developing and implementing working groups, so that forces can be joined in combatting AMR. This Action will stimulate collaboration between industry and research institutes using available knowledge, and disclose state of- the- art nanotechnology and biotechnology knowledge, to industrial partners. This will lead to more effective AMC and successful new market applications. More to be found on project website: www.amici-consortium.eu
Project
Infections and infectious diseases are a continuous threat to human health. A potential and promising weapon against bacterial growth and possibly the development of multi-drug resistant bacteria has been found in AntiMicrobial (nano)-Coatings (AMC). AMICI brings together stakeholders from different countries and disciplines.The central aim is to evaluate the impact of (introducing) AMC in healthcare on the spread of infections and on the efficacy in fighting HCAI and bacterial resistance to current antibiotics. http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15114