How Toxic Mold Effects Humans

ACREMONIUM

Medical Importance: Acremonium has occasionally been reported to cause mycetomas and infections in the eye and other tissues of humans and animals.

ACTINOMYCETES

Medical Importance: Actinomycetes may occur as opportunistic pathogens in human with the majority of cases occurring in patients with weakened immune systems, especially those with AIDS. Exposure usually occurs through the air, causing pneumonia and an accompanying bacteremia (blood infection) in some patients.

ALTERNARIA

Medical Importance: Alternata is a commom cause of allergenic reactions in humans, and extracts of this species are normally included in assessments of allergies in patients.

Mycotoxins: Alternaria alternate may produce the following mycotoxins: altenuene, altenuisol, alternariol methy ether, altertoxins I and II, and tenuazonic acid.

ARTHRINIUM

Medical Importance: Arthrinium is not commonly regarded as a problem mould. It has been implicated in a single case of skin infection and a single post-surgical ear infection.

EPICOCCUM

Medical Importance: Epicoccum may cause allergies, but their spores are seldom at concentrations high enough for long enough periods of time to be a serious problem.

FUSARIUM

Medical Importance: Fusarium species are a common and serious cause of mycotic eye infections. These species can also cause skin lesions, especially on burn patients, nail and ear infections, and various kinds of mycosis after trauma.

Mycotoxins: Fusarium species produce mycotoxins that can have serious effects on human and animal health, and can cause fetal abortions and other sexual dysfunctions, causing vomiting and refusal to feed. Fusarium species are implicated in cancer of the esophagus in China.

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ASPERGILLUS

Medical Importance: Special attention should be paid yo Aspergillus fumigatus. Inhalation of spores in high concentrations over extended periods can lead to several well-defined diseases, including allergic asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, invasive aspergillosis, aspergilloma (fungus ball), and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

BACILLUS

Medical Importance: Several species are reported to have caused a wide of opportunistic infectons, including eye, ear, wound, burn, and surgical wound infections; pneumonia: and-rarely- endocarditis, meningitis, and blood infections (bacteremia). Bacillus cereus may cause food poisoning.

STACHYBOTRYS

Medical Importance: Stachybotrys Chartarum is responsible for symptoms ranging from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to pulmonary hemorrhage in infants and that special risk management action shuld be taken when building materials are contaminated with this organism.

Mycotoxins: Stachybotrys Chartarum produces mycotoxins, including the macrocyclic tricothecenes, roridin E,satratoxin H, sporidesmin G, trichoverrins, and verrucarol.

PAECILOMYCES

Medical Importance: Paecilomyces variatii has caused death on two occasions in patients following open heart surgery, implicated in eye infection, endocarditis, sinusitis, skin infection, and other diseases.

Mycotoxins: Paecilomyces variotii may produce the mycotoxins byssochlamic acid and variotin.

PENICILLIUM

Medical Importance: Penicillium are opportunistic pathogens in human, causing infections of the eyes, ears, lungs, urinary tract, and membrace lining of the heart (endocarditis). One species, P. maeneffei, is dimorphic and causes systemic life-threatening infections in HIV-positive individuals.

RHINOCLADIELLA

Medical Importance: Rhinocladiella is a rare cause of chromoblastomycosis, a chronic skin and lymph disease usually on the lower extremities or sometimes on the hands, head region, or trunk. The disease is characterized by warty nodules; tumor-like masses; or raised, rough, cauliflower-like lesions. Infection of the central nervous system and the foot are also documented.

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RHIZOPUS

Medical Importance:Several Rhizopus species can be pathogenic in humans and animals, causing zygomycosis, a broad spectrum of diseases caused by fungi can become systemic with invasion of the central system, blood, lungs, or gastrointestinal tract. The most common form of zygomycosis is nasal or paranasal sinus infections, especially in patients with diabetes.

Mycotoxins: Rhizopus species may produce the mycotoxin rhizonin A.

CLADOSPORIUM

Medical Importance: Cladosporium species being among one of the primary allergenic moulds. The spores of the Cladosporium species can be quite tiny and could cause allergic alveolitis, if inhaled, in significant quantities, known to attack tissues of humans and/or animals.

TRICHODERMA

Medical Importance: Trichoderma species are rarely associated with human infections. However, there are some reports that include pulmonary infection, peritonitis, and a liver infection in an immunocompromised patient.

Mycotoxins: A number of isocyanine-type mycotoxins are produced by species of Trichoderma which include trichoviridin; dermadin; isocyanide III; isonitrin A, B, and D; and homothallins. Trichoderma viride may produce the mycotoxin gliotoxin as well as the isocyanides. Trichoderma harzianum may produce the mycotoxins gliotoxin, T2-toxin and trichodermin.

BLASTOMYCES DERMATITIDIS

Medical Importance: Blastomycosis is a disease of humans and animals caused by inhalation of air borne spores from blastomyces dermatitidis. Clinical manifestations of blastomycosis include acure pulmonary disease, subacute and chronic pulmonary disease, and extrapulmonary disease. The latter most commonly involves the skin, but sometimes involves bone, genitourinary tract, and the central nervous system. Symptoms of pulmonary disease include fever, cough, weight loss, night sweats, and pleuritic pain.

CHRYSOSPORIUM

Medical Importance: Chrysosporium tropicum was isolated from skin lesions in humans and is a probable cause of a skin disease in chickens. Chrysosporium pannicola occasionally causes skin infections in humans and dogs.

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ASCOSPORES

Medical Importance: Ascospores are microscopic spores which develop during the winter on dead, fallen leaves that were infected the previous season. Ascopspores can be found everywhere and commonly grow indoors on damp materials. Ascospores have not been extensively studied but it is considered to be an allergen. Ascospores produce toxins. Ascospores do present a human health risk but few have been reported to cause disease.

BASIDIOSPORES

Medical Importance: Spores that are produced by a class of fungi called basidiomycetes. Includes the mushrooms, toadstools, boletes, wood bracket fungi, and puffballs. Basidiospores have the potential to produce a variety of toxins. Members of this family produce type I and III fungal hypersensitivity reactions. Hay fever, asthma, eczema, pneumonitis, allergic alveoltis, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, stuffy nose, plugged ears, watery/bloodshot eyes, itchy eyes / nose / ear canal / skin.

BIPOLARIS

Medical Importance: Bipolaris has been known to be an allergenic irritant, cause pneumonia, dermatitis, and fungal sinusitis. There also reported instances of infection of the eye’s corneas, and of the lungs (particularly upper respiratory tract). Various species of this fungus can produce the mycotoxin serigmatocystin, which in the past has been known to cause liver and kidney damage when ingested by animals in laboratory settings.

NIGROSPORA

Medical Importance: The Nigrospora is a rapidly growing mold. The colonies can even mature

is about four days. The color changes from white then rapidly and slowly turns black. Nigrospora is often found out in the open especially in soil as well as plants that are decaying. It has though been found in houses and other housed establishments. The mold has not toxics but it is often allergenic. This means that it affects the respiration system leading to ailments such as asthma. It can also cause hay fever. Medical journals and publications have put it forth that the effect on human risks are rare though medical tests should always been carried out as a preventive measure.

Health effects: Allergen, Irritant, Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, Dermatitis PERICONIA

A fungus that grows on forage growing in the field and contains an unidentified hepatoxin. Livestock grazing the infected forage may develop hepatic injury and photosensitization.

A general category for a commonly found genera mostly associated with living and decaying plants and wood, soil, grasses, rushes, sedges, cereal crops, weeds, and flowering plants. The periconia may occasionally be found indoors. They may cause Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma) but generally pose no health concerns to humans or animals.

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SPEGAZZINIA

Medical Importance:

Spegazzinia species comprise a very small proportion of the fungal biota. This genus is somewhat related to other lobed or ornamented genera such as Candelabrum. No information is available regarding health effects or toxicity. Allergenicity has not been studied. Usually identified on spore trap samples where it is seen every few weeks. (Spores have very distinctive morphology.) May also be found in air by culturable (Andersen) samples if a long enough incubation period is provided so that sporulation occurs.


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