Molds, mycotoxins, and sick building syndrome.

The following is a review of some of the work we have done since 2004 regarding the importance of molds and their mycotoxins in the phenomenon of sick building syndrome (SBS). In these studies we showed that the macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins (MTM) of Stachybotrys chartarum (SC) are easily dissociated from the surface of the organism as it grows and could therefore be consequently spread in buildings as the fungus experiences additional water events. We then showed that SC and Penicillium chrysogenum (PC) colonies remain viable long after a water source has been removed, and the MTM produced by SC remain toxic over extended periods of time. We next showed that PC when inhaled, can release in vivo, a protease allergen that can cause a significant allergic inflammatory reaction in the lungs of mice. We then showed, in a laboratory study, that the MTM of SC can become airborne attached to spores or SC particulates smaller than spores. Following that study, we next showed that the same phenomenon actually occurred in SC infested buildings where people were complaining of health problems potentially associated with SBS. Finally, we were able to demonstrate the presence of MTM in the sera of individuals who had been exposed to SC in indoor environments. This last study was done with enough mold exposed individuals to allow for the statistical significance of SC exposure to be evaluated.
AuthorsDavid C Straus
JournalToxicology and industrial health (Toxicol Ind Health) 2009 Oct-Nov Vol. 25 Issue 9-10 Pg. 617-35 ISSN: 1477-0393 [Electronic] England
PMID19854820 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review)
Chemical References
  • Mycotoxins
  • Air Pollution, Indoor (adverse effects)
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Mice
  • Mycotoxins (adverse effects)
  • Penicillium chrysogenum (isolation & purification, pathogenicity, physiology)
  • Sick Building Syndrome (microbiology)
  • Stachybotrys (isolation & purification, pathogenicity, physiology)
  • Water Microbiology

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