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Mold is a fungus that can be found indoors and outdoors. It grows best in warm, damp conditions.

Some species of molds produce mycotoxins that cause a variety of harmful effects in humans and animals.

Mycotoxins typically associated with the molds Stachybotrys, Penicillium, or Aspergillus can be present in water-damaged buildings and cause a variety of harmful effects in humans and animals.[1]

The production of mycotoxins by mold colonies varies based on environmental factors. Molds may interact with human pollution, especially nanoparticulate pollution, in ways that are not yet well characterized but that may increase the inflammatory response to mold.[2]

Health effects[edit | edit source]

Immune system[edit | edit source]

Allergy[edit | edit source]

Mold affects some people who are sensitive to it. Reactions can be mild causing nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some who have severe reactions to mold and who may be in certain occupational settings, such as farming, moldy hay could cause more of a severe reaction.[3] Others can be more sensitive or impacted due to mold in their home, workplace or school leading to Mold illness.[4][5][6]

Connective tissue[edit | edit source]

Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) release proteinases that can hydrolyze gelatin and collagen I and IV.[7] Three mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV) and T-2 toxin, were study in an the context of an experimental cartilage model. They were found to increase the expression of MMPs and result in the loss of aggrecan and type II collagen. Selenium partially inhibited the effects of these mycotoxins.[8]

Genetic Predisposition[edit | edit source]

Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLAs), are found on the surface of nearly every cell in the human body. They help the immune system tell the difference between body tissue and foreign substances.

The immune response genes are found on chromosome six. Patients could have two alleles, copies of genes (for each gene, one allele is inherited from a person's father, and the other is inherited from a person's mother), out of approximately 10 possible, as part of their genotype. Based on Dr. Shoemaker's data, in normal populations compared to international registries of gene frequencies of HLA DR, we know the frequency of mold illness-susceptible patients approximates 24% of the normally distributed population. Almost 25% of the normal population is genetically susceptible to chronic mold illness.[9][10]

Treatment[edit | edit source]

An Allergist can treat allergies to mold while an Infectious Disease Specialist will treat mold infections.

There are also functional medicine practitioners like members of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) who specialize in the field of environmentally acquired illness (EAI) with expertise treating mold illness, Lyme disease, etc, using a systems biology approach.[11]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Shoemaker, Ritchie C. Surviving mold: life in the era of dangerous buildings (First ed.). Baltimore, MD. ISBN 9780966553550. OCLC 852680195. 
  2. Stauber, Roland H.; Knauer, Shirley K.; Hasenberg, Mike; Gunzer, Matthias; Becker, Sven; Schilling, Oliver; Reinhardt, Christoph; Erler, Kathrin; Hahlbrock, Angelina (Jul 3, 2018). "Nanoparticle decoration impacts airborne fungal pathobiology". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115 (27): 7087–7092. doi:10.1073/pnas.1804542115. ISSN 0027-8424. PMID 29925597. 
  3. "CDC - Mold - General Information - Basic Facts". Apr 16, 2018. Retrieved Aug 18, 2018. 
  4. "CDC - Mold - General Information - Basic Facts - My landlord or builder will not take any responsibility for cleaning up the mold in my home. Where can I go for help?". Apr 16, 2018. Retrieved Aug 18, 2018. 
  5. "CDC - Mold - General Information - Basic Facts - I'm sure that mold in my workplace is making me sick". Apr 16, 2018. Retrieved Aug 18, 2018. 
  6. "CDC - Mold - General Information - Basic Facts - I am very concerned about mold in my children's school and how it affects their health". Apr 16, 2018. Retrieved Aug 18, 2018. 
  7. Yike, Iwona; Rand, Thomas; Dearborn, Dorr G. (Jul 3, 2007). "The role of fungal proteinases in pathophysiology of Stachybotrys chartarum". Mycopathologia. 164 (4): 171. doi:10.1007/s11046-007-9037-4. ISSN 1573-0832. 
  8. Caterson, Bruce; Li, Jin; Wang, Jiali; Luo, Mingxiu; Liu, Jiayuan; Zhang, Zengtie; Fu, Qiang; Chen, Jinghong; Li, Siyuan (2012). "The Effects of Mycotoxins and Selenium Deficiency on Tissue-Engineered Cartilage". Cells Tissues Organs. 196 (3): 241–250. doi:10.1159/000335046. ISSN 1422-6405. PMID 22538829. 
  9. "Lab Tests for Mold Illness - Secrets of Surviving Mold". Retrieved Aug 2, 2019. 
  10. Valtonen, Ville (Aug 10, 2017). "Clinical Diagnosis of the Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome: Review of the Literature and Suggested Diagnostic Criteria". Frontiers in Immunology. 8. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.00951. ISSN 1664-3224. PMC 5554125Freely accessible. PMID 28848553. 
  11. "CDC - Mold - General Information - Basic Facts - What type of doctor should I see concerning mold exposure?". Apr 16, 2018. Retrieved Aug 18, 2018. 

mycotoxin - "a poisonous substance produced by a fungus and especially a mold"

cartilage - firm, whitish, flexible connective tissue found in various forms in the larynx and respiratory tract, in structures such as the external ear, and in the articulating surfaces of joints

human leukocyte antigen complex (HLA) - A set of genes responsible for a given person's immune response to potential threats. Specifically, HLA genes encode proteins which help the immune system to distinguish the body's own proteins from proteins which are made by foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. The HLA complex can vary greatly from person to person, generating unique immune and allergic responses. (Learn more:

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.