Saturday, March 28, 2009
"Mold" is the common term for multicellular fungi that grow in a mat. Generally, they are not pathogenic to immunocompetent patients. Molds may negatively affect humans through developing the following processes: allergy, infection, and toxicity. Allergic response to indoor molds is mediated via production of specific molecules, called immunoglobulins, and is associated with development of atopic reactions, such as atopic asthma, rhinitis, and dermatitis. Other uncommon allergic reactions include bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and allergic sinusitis. Infections are potentially dangerous for individuals with weak immune system, such as cancer patients, AIDS, etc. In addition, molds are capable of producing mycotoxins. In fact, an inhalation exposure or eating moldy foods may adversely affect health. It is commonly referred as organic dust toxic syndrome which is characterized by a flu-like symptoms. Interestingly, sick building syndrome is a set of symptoms that seems to be linked to occupancy in a building. While specific causes of this syndrome remain unknown, some believe that mold contamination may be contributing factor. A critical review of literature, including a case-control study, did not show any significant correlation between exposure to mycotoxins and human disease. To address the indoor mold-induced seizure, a case control study would be needed.