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Chapter 77 : Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins

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Abstract:

This chapter reviews existing literature on airborne fungi, with emphasis on indoor fungal growth and contamination as well as the health effects of mycotoxins and fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A wealth of literature on outdoor airborne fungi can also be found in reviews by various researchers. The majority of airborne fungi collected on samplers and grown on agar media are Deuteromycotina and Zygomycetes. The detection of airborne fungi does not necessarily suggest growth and amplification of fungi indoors. However, it is believed that actively growing fungi in the indoor environment are the primary cause of the adverse health effects due to exposure to indoor fungal allergens, mycotoxins, and fungal VOCs. Fungi are commonly known to cause infections of the skin and other body organs, as well as allergies and respiratory problems. These conditions are briefly discussed. Fungal by-products (i.e., mycotoxins) have ciliostatic effects in the respiratory tract, which can be one of the important pathological mechanisms causing diminished mucociliary clearing and local inflammatory effects in the airways and sinuses. Organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS), also called toxic pneumonitis, is a nonallergic, noninfectious form of an acute inflammatory lung reaction to high-level fungal dust exposure. An overview of clinically important health disorders based on various case reports and results of disease cluster investigations is presented for the most important mycotoxin producers.

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77

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Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
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Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 1

Selected fungi and their as

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
Generic image for table
TABLE 2

Complaints and symptoms reported by patients with exposure to excessive fungal growth

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
Generic image for table
TABLE 3

Medical conditions associated with indoor fungal exposure

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
Generic image for table
TABLE 4

Disease transmitted by airborne fungi and affected tissues

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
Generic image for table
TABLE 5

Immunopathological responses caused by fungal hypersensitivity

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
Generic image for table
TABLE 6

Fungal agents of HP and occupational dust exposure

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
Generic image for table
TABLE 7

Comparative features of HP and ODTS

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77
Generic image for table
TABLE 8

Some toxigenic fungi, fungal chemical metabolites, and their health effects

Citation: Yang C, Johanning E. 2007. Airborne Fungi and Mycotoxins, p 972-988. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch77

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