What are really really bad molds?

In fact, there is no such a standard in CDC or NIH, or even the medical societies, who has or have set a criterion. But medical and clinical research already had found many commonly isolated molds or fungi from animals and human. Every medical text book has those mold or yeast names described. Since people are getting older and living longer, new fungal pathogens are growing and emerging.

All molds and yeasts are bad!!!

The book "Atlas of Clinical Fungi. G. S. de Hoog et al. 2000. CBS Netherlands" described thousands of fungal molds and yeasts, which are reportedly isolated from animal or human hosts published in scientific journals.

Medical mycology textbooks mainly include those common but pathogenic molds and yeasts:

Aspergillus fumigatus; Coccidioides immitis; Paracoccidioides braziliensis; Histoplasma capsulatum; Blastomyces dermatitidis; yeast Candida albicans; yeast Cryptococcus neoformans; Dermatophytes, which infect skin and nails.

  • Any molds that can grow in 37C are potentially human pathogens.
Because within human body, the temperature is 37C, a mold to be a pathogen, has two conditions to meet: to tolerate a 37C temperature and to resist or evade the human immune system.

  • All BSL-3 and some BSL-2 molds!
BSL-3 molds: such as Penicillium marneffei; Coccidioides immitis; Histoplasma capsulatum.

BSL-2 molds: such as Aspergillus fumigatus; Aspergillus flavus; Aspergillus terreus.

  • Opportunistic yeast pathogens: Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans
Both yeasts are saprobes, yet they are capable of invading humans if the host has weakened immune systems. Candida can even invade human skin, digestive tract and reproductive tract, causing so-called "Candidiasis". Cyrptococcus can cause "Cryptococcosis".

  • Dimorphic fungi
Dimorphic fungi are meant that a fungus can take both morphological forms: in filamentous moldy form or a more-or-less yeast form, upon different culture conditions. Most fungal pathogens do take yeast forms once they are invaded human tissues.

Courtesy of Nature Review Immunology, by Luigina Romani, @ http://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v4/n1/box/nri1255_BX2.html

Black Mold Stachybotrys

Black Mold Stachybotrys

This article is also available @ http://www.bioidea.net/

The really black "Black Mold" Stachybotrys, or so-called "Sick Home Syndrome" mold Stachybotrys is the biggest fear in the Indoor Air Quality industry.

It is a cellulolytic saprophyte with a worldwide distribution and is frequently recovered in water-damaged buildings.

This black mold aroused significant notification when infants in Cleveland, Ohio, died of pulmonary hemorrhage after lived in Stachybotrys infested houses.

From the authoritative book "Atlas of clinical Fungi" (de Hoog et al., 2000, CBS Netherland), this mold is not described but referred to as "a toxigenic fungus, it was isolated from lungs of a child with pulmory hemisiderosis" .

That publication goes to the Journal of Pediatrics (Okan Elidemir, Vol.104 No.4 October 1999, pp. 964-966), in which "Stachybotrys atra, a toxigenic fungus, has been implicated as a potential cause of pulmonary hemorrhage/hemosiderosis in infants living in water-damaged homes. Although epidemiologic evidence supports this association, neither the organism nor its toxic products has ever been recovered from humans. We report the first case in which Stachybotrys was isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a child with pulmonary hemorrhage. Stachybotrys was also recovered from his water-damaged home. The patient recovered completely after his immediate removal from the environment and subsequent cleaning of his home. This case provides further evidence that this fungus is capable of causing pulmonary hemorrhage in children".

A case study published in Journal of Respiratory Medicine (Shariat and Collard. Vol.3, issue2, page 74-75, 2007) confirmed that "a patient who presented with acute respiratory failure and histopathological evidence of diffuse alveolar damage shortly after exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum in her home".

Stachybotrys chartarum micrographs with magnification of 600x and 1000x.

Very Tough Molds Infect Hand Skin

There are types of molds called "dermatophytes", or dermatophytous fungi which are common in our environment, usually in soil, could infect human hands (palm skin or nails), if in contact with the mold spores or conidia, when doing gardening work.

Some of those dermatophytes are so tough and resistant to local treatment with over-the-counter anti-fungal ointment or cream to the localised skin infection over a prolonged period of 6 months, that prescribed medicine must be used to systematically inhibit their growth, and cure the skin. Those fungal infections are related to "athelet' foot" and "Jockey's itch".

Those dermatophytous fungi belongs to the genera Microsporium, Epidermophyton, and Tricophyton.

For mold testing, go to www.bioidea.net.