Logo of envhperEnvironmental Health PerspectivesBrowse ArticlesAbout EHPGeneral InformationAuthorsMediaProgramsPartnerships
Environ Health Perspect. Jun 1999; 107(Suppl 3): 469–472.
PMCID: PMC1566211
Research Article

Fungal spores: hazardous to health?

Abstract

Fungi have long been known to affect human well being in various ways, including disease of essential crop plants, decay of stored foods with possible concomitant production of mycotoxins, superficial and systemic infection of human tissues, and disease associated with immune stimulation such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis and toxic pneumonitis. The spores of a large number of important fungi are less than 5 microm aerodynamic diameter, and therefore are able to enter the lungs. They also may contain significant amounts of mycotoxins. Diseases associated with inhalation of fungal spores include toxic pneumonitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, tremors, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney failure, and cancer.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (863K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Brunekreef B, Dockery DW, Speizer FE, Ware JH, Spengler JD, Ferris BG. Home dampness and respiratory morbidity in children. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1989 Nov;140(5):1363–1367. [PubMed]
  • Dales RE, Zwanenburg H, Burnett R, Franklin CA. Respiratory health effects of home dampness and molds among Canadian children. Am J Epidemiol. 1991 Jul 15;134(2):196–203. [PubMed]
  • Dales RE, Miller D, McMullen E. Indoor air quality and health: validity and determinants of reported home dampness and moulds. Int J Epidemiol. 1997 Feb;26(1):120–125. [PubMed]
  • Spengler JD, Sexton K. Indoor air pollution: a public health perspective. Science. 1983 Jul 1;221(4605):9–17. [PubMed]
  • Samson RA. Mycotoxins: a mycologist's perspective. J Med Vet Mycol. 1992;30 (Suppl 1):9–18. [PubMed]
  • Jarvis BB, Salemme J, Morais A. Stachybotrys toxins. 1. Nat Toxins. 1995;3(1):10–16. [PubMed]
  • Hayes RB, van Nieuwenhuize JP, Raatgever JW, ten Kate FJ. Aflatoxin exposures in the industrial setting: an epidemiological study of mortality. Food Chem Toxicol. 1984 Jan;22(1):39–43. [PubMed]
  • Dvorácková I. Aflatoxin inhalation and alveolar cell carcinoma. Br Med J. 1976 Mar 20;1(6011):691–691. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Olsen JH, Dragsted L, Autrup H. Cancer risk and occupational exposure to aflatoxins in Denmark. Br J Cancer. 1988 Sep;58(3):392–396. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Deger GE. Letter: Aflatoxin--human colon carcinogenesis? Ann Intern Med. 1976 Aug;85(2):204–205. [PubMed]
  • Autrup JL, Schmidt J, Seremet T, Autrup H. Determination of exposure to aflatoxins among Danish workers in animal-feed production through the analysis of aflatoxin B1 adducts to serum albumin. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1991 Dec;17(6):436–440. [PubMed]
  • Zarba A, Hmieleski R, Hemenway DR, Jakab GJ, Groopman JD. Aflatoxin B1--DNA adduct formation in rat liver following exposure by aerosol inhalation. Carcinogenesis. 1992 Jun;13(6):1031–1033. [PubMed]
  • Jakab GJ, Hmieleski RR, Zarba A, Hemenway DR, Groopman JD. Respiratory aflatoxicosis: suppression of pulmonary and systemic host defenses in rats and mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1994 Apr;125(2):198–205. [PubMed]
  • Andrássy K, Horváth I, Lakos T, Töke Z. Massenhaftes Auftreten von Mykotoxikosen im Komitat Hajdu-Bihar. Mykosen. 1980 Mar;23(3):130–133. [PubMed]
  • Kjellman B, Elinder G, Garwicz S, Svan H. Idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis in Swedish children. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1984 Sep;73(5):584–588. [PubMed]
  • Ohga S, Takahashi K, Miyazaki S, Kato H, Ueda K. Idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis in Japan: 39 possible cases from a survey questionnaire. Eur J Pediatr. 1995 Dec;154(12):994–995. [PubMed]
  • Etzel RA, Montaña E, Sorenson WG, Kullman GJ, Allan TM, Dearborn DG, Olson DR, Jarvis BB, Miller JD. Acute pulmonary hemorrhage in infants associated with exposure to Stachybotrys atra and other fungi. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998 Aug;152(8):757–762. [PubMed]
  • Jarvis BB, Sorenson WG, Hintikka EL, Nikulin M, Zhou Y, Jiang J, Wang S, Hinkley S, Etzel RA, Dearborn D. Study of toxin production by isolates of Stachybotrys chartarum and Memnoniella echinata isolated during a study of pulmonary hemosiderosis in infants. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Oct;64(10):3620–3625. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nikulin M, Reijula K, Jarvis BB, Veijalainen P, Hintikka EL. Effects of intranasal exposure to spores of Stachybotrys atra in mice. Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1997 Feb;35(2):182–188. [PubMed]
  • Johanning E, Biagini R, Hull D, Morey P, Jarvis B, Landsbergis P. Health and immunology study following exposure to toxigenic fungi (Stachybotrys chartarum) in a water-damaged office environment. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1996;68(4):207–218. [PubMed]
  • Hodgson MJ, Morey P, Leung WY, Morrow L, Miller D, Jarvis BB, Robbins H, Halsey JF, Storey E. Building-associated pulmonary disease from exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum and Aspergillus versicolor. J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Mar;40(3):241–249. [PubMed]
  • Dill I, Trautmann C, Szewzyk R. Massenentwicklung von Stachybotrys chartarum auf kompostierbaren Pflanztöpfen aus Altpapier. Mycoses. 1997;40 (Suppl 1):110–114. [PubMed]
  • Di Paolo N, Guarnieri A, Loi F, Sacchi G, Mangiarotti AM, Di Paolo M. Acute renal failure from inhalation of mycotoxins. Nephron. 1993;64(4):621–625. [PubMed]
  • Gordon KE, Masotti RE, Waddell WR. Tremorgenic encephalopathy: a role of mycotoxins in the production of CNS disease in humans? Can J Neurol Sci. 1993 Aug;20(3):237–239. [PubMed]
  • Parker GF, Jenner PC. Distribution of trypacidin in cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus. Appl Microbiol. 1968 Aug;16(8):1251–1252. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Palmgren MS, Lee LS. Separation of mycotoxin-containing sources in grain dust and determination of their mycotoxin potential. Environ Health Perspect. 1986 Apr;66:105–108. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wicklow DT, Shotwell OL. Intrafungal distribution of aflatoxins among conidia and sclerotia of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Can J Microbiol. 1983 Jan;29(1):1–5. [PubMed]
  • Sorenson WG, Frazer DG, Jarvis BB, Simpson J, Robinson VA. Trichothecene mycotoxins in aerosolized conidia of Stachybotrys atra. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 Jun;53(6):1370–1375. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bauer J, Gareis M, Bott A, Gedek B. Isolation of a mycotoxin (gliotoxin) from a bovine udder infected with Aspergillus fumigatus. J Med Vet Mycol. 1989;27(1):45–50. [PubMed]
  • Shah DT, Larsen B. Clinical isolates of yeast produce a gliotoxin-like substance. Mycopathologia. 1991 Dec;116(3):203–208. [PubMed]
  • Land CJ, Sostarić B, Fuchs R, Lundström H, Hult K. Intratracheal exposure of rats to Aspergillus fumigatus spores isolated from sawmills in Sweden. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1989 Nov;55(11):2856–2860. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Smith JE, Anderson JG, Lewis CW, Murad YM. Cytotoxic fungal spores in the indoor atmosphere of the damp domestic environment. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1992 Dec 15;100(1-3):337–343. [PubMed]
  • Strachan DP, Sanders CH. Damp housing and childhood asthma; respiratory effects of indoor air temperature and relative humidity. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1989 Mar;43(1):7–14. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Macgeorge KM, Mantle PG. Nephrotoxicity of Penicillium aurantiogriseum and P. commune from an endemic nephropathy area of Yugoslavia. Mycopathologia. 1990 Dec;112(3):139–145. [PubMed]
  • Gerberick GF, Sorenson WG. Toxicity of T-2 toxin, a Fusarium mycotoxin, to alveolar macrophages in vitro. Environ Res. 1983 Dec;32(2):269–285. [PubMed]
  • Gerberick GF, Sorenson WG, Lewis DM. The effects of T-2 toxin on alveolar macrophage function in vitro. Environ Res. 1984 Feb;33(1):246–260. [PubMed]
  • Sorenson WG, Simpson J, Castranova V. Toxicity of the mycotoxin patulin for rat alveolar macrophages. Environ Res. 1985 Dec;38(2):407–416. [PubMed]
  • Sorenson WG, Gerberick GF, Lewis DM, Castranova V. Toxicity of mycotoxins for the rat pulmonary macrophage in vitro. Environ Health Perspect. 1986 Apr;66:45–53. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ayral AM, Dubech N, Le Bars J, Escoula L. In vitro effect of diacetoxyscirpenol and deoxynivalenol on microbicidal activity of murine peritoneal macrophages. Mycopathologia. 1992 Nov;120(2):121–127. [PubMed]
  • Vidal D, Mavet S. In vitro and in vivo toxicity of T-2 toxin, a Fusarium mycotoxin, to mouse peritoneal macrophages. Infect Immun. 1989 Jul;57(7):2260–2264. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lafarge-Frayssinet C, Lespinats G, Lafont P, Loisillier F, Mousset S, Rosenstein Y, Frayssinet C. Immunosuppressive effects of Fusarium extracts and trichothecenes: blastogenic response of murine splenic and thymic cells to mitogens. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1979 Mar;160(3):302–311. [PubMed]
  • Rosenstein Y, Lafarge-Frayssinet C, Lespinats G, Loisillier F, Lafont P, Frayssinet C. Immunosuppressive activity of Fusarium toxins. Effects on antibody synthesis and skin grafts of crude extracts, T2-toxin and diacetoxyscirpenol. Immunology. 1979 Jan;36(1):111–117. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Eichner RD, Al Salami M, Wood PR, Müllbacher A. The effect of gliotoxin upon macrophage function. Int J Immunopharmacol. 1986;8(7):789–797. [PubMed]
  • Pestka JJ, Bondy GS. Alteration of immune function following dietary mycotoxin exposure. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1990 Jul;68(7):1009–1016. [PubMed]
  • Creasia DA, Thurman JD, Jones LJ, 3rd, Nealley ML, York CG, Wannemacher RW, Jr, Bunner DL. Acute inhalation toxicity of T-2 mycotoxin in mice. Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1987 Feb;8(2):230–235. [PubMed]

Articles from Environmental Health Perspectives are provided here courtesy of National Institute of Environmental Health Science

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...