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    Post: Abstract of Study - Discuss This

    Posted by Mike B. on 2/05/08

    Stachybotrys chartarum, Trichothecene Mycotoxins, and Damp
    Building-Related Illness: New Insights into a Public Health

    Pestka JJ, Yike I, Dearborn DG, Ward MD, Harkema JR.
    Center for Integrative Toxicology.

    Damp building-related illnesses (DRBI) include a myriad of
    respiratory, immunologic and neurologic symptoms that are
    sometimes etiologically linked to aberrant indoor growth of
    the toxic black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum. Although
    supportive evidence for such linkages are limited, there
    are exciting new findings about this enigmatic organism
    relative to its environmental dissemination, novel
    bioactive components, unique cellular targets and molecular
    mechanisms of action which provide insight into the S.
    chartarum's potential to evoke allergic sensitization,
    inflammation and cytotoxicity in the upper and lower
    respiratory tracts. Macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins,
    produced by one chemotype of this fungus, are potent
    translational inhibitors and stress kinase activators that
    appear to be a critical underlying cause for a number of
    adverse effects. Notably, these toxins form covalent
    protein adducts in vitro and in vivo and, furthermore,
    cause neurotoxicity and inflammation in the nose and brain
    of the mouse. A second S.chartarum chemotype has recently
    been shown to produce atranones - mycotoxins that can
    induce pulmonary inflammation. Other biologically active
    products of this fungus that might contribute to
    pathophysiologic effects include proteinases, hemolysins,
    beta-glucan and spirocyclic drimanes. Solving the enigma of
    whether Stachybotrys inhalation indeed contributes to DRBI
    will require studies of the pathophysiologic effects of low
    dose chronic exposure to well-characterized, standardized
    preparations of S. chartarum spores and mycelial fragments,
    and, co-exposures with other environmental cofactors. Such
    studies must be linked to improved assessments of human
    exposure to this fungus and its bioactive constituents in
    indoor air using both state-of-the-art sampling/analytical
    methods and relevant biomarkers.

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