Science Inventory

The Allergenic Potential of Molds Found in Water-Damaged Homes


WARD, M. D., Y. CHUNG, L. B. COPELAND, C. M. PUCHEU-HASTON, AND S. J. VESPER. The Allergenic Potential of Molds Found in Water-Damaged Homes. Presented at American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, March 13 - 17, 2009.


This study assessed the allergic potential of molds found in asthmatics' water-damaged homes (Group 1) and those more universally found (Group 2) in a mouse model. There were variable results induced by molds from both groups, but limited capacity of these Group 1 molds to induce allergy.


Rationale: Damp/moldy environments have been associated with asthma exacerbation, but mold’s role in allergic asthma induction is less clear. Recently, certain molds (Group 1) were associated with asthmatics’ water-damaged homes in Cleveland, while others were found more universally (Group 2). Asthma exacerbations were lower in remediated homes compared to non-remediated homes. The study objective was to compare the allergy induction potential of these molds to house dust mite (HDM) in our mouse allergy/asthma model. Methods: Female BALB/c mice received 1 or 4 exposures by intratracheal aspiration of 0-80 µg of mold extract or HDM. Serum and bronchoaveolar lavage fluid were collected on day 2 after the final exposure. Results: Multiple exposures to the Group 1 molds, even at high doses, induced only minimal responses. To achieve similar results to those induced by HDM in the antigen-specific IgE assay required 1.5X more Scopulariopsis brevicaulis and 6.7X more Trichoderma viride. Group 2 molds required: 0.5X as much Acremonium strictum or Aureobasidium pullans, 2.7X more Alternaria alternata, 0.2X as much Cladosporium cladosporiodes, 1.5 X more Cladosporium sphaerospermum, and 2.25X more Epicoccum nigrum compared to HDM to produce similar antigen-specific IgE results. Penicillium spinulosum (Group 2) does not appear capable of allergy induction. Conclusions: The data suggest that the Group 1 molds in this study have limited capacity to induce allergic responses. However, most of the Group 2 molds are capable of inducing allergic responses and some may be as or more potent than HDM. (This abstract does not reflect EPA policies.)

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 03/14/2009
Record Last Revised: 04/01/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 199709