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Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):421-32.

Antibodies to molds and satratoxin in individuals exposed in water-damaged buildings.

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Immunosciences Lab, Inc., Beverly Hills, California, USA.


Immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgM, and IgG antibodies against Penicillium notatum, Aspergillus niger, Stachybotrys chartarum, and satratoxin H were determined in the blood of 500 healthy blood donor controls, 500 random patients, and 500 patients with known exposure to molds. The patients were referred to the immunological testing laboratory for health reasons other than mold exposure, or for measurement of mold antibody levels. Levels of IgA, IgM, and IgG antibodies against molds were significantly greater in the patients (p < 0.001 for all measurements) than in the controls. However, in mold-exposed patients, levels of these antibodies against satratoxin differed significantly for IgG only (p < 0.001), but not for IgM or IgA. These differences in the levels of mold antibodies among the 3 groups were confirmed by calculation of z score and by Scheffé's significant difference tests. A general linear model was applied in the majority of cases, and 3 different subsets were formed, meaning that the healthy control groups were different from the random patients and from the mold-exposed patients. These findings indicated that mold exposure was more common in patients who were referred for immunological evaluation than it was in healthy blood donors. The detection of antibodies to molds and satratoxin H likely resulted from antigenic stimulation of the immune system and the reaction of serum with specially prepared mold antigens. These antigens, which had high protein content, were developed in this laboratory and used in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) procedure. The authors concluded that the antibodies studied are specific to mold antigens and mycotoxins, and therefore could be useful in epidemiological and other studies of humans exposed to molds and mycotoxins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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