EPA Science Inventory

ALLERGIC POTENTIAL OF INDOOR MOLDS

Citation:

WARD, M. D., Y. CHUNG, L. B. COPELAND, M. K. SELGRADE, AND S. J. VESPER. ALLERGIC POTENTIAL OF INDOOR MOLDS. Presented at Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, March 25 - 29, 2007.

Description:

Many fungi have been associated with allergic lung disease, but few are well studied and even fewer allergens of fungal origin are well characterized. Exposure to damp moldy environments has been associated with the exacerbation of asthma, but the role of molds in the induction of allergic asthma is less clear. Genetically predisposed individuals who inhabit water-damaged buildings may be susceptible to the development or exacerbation of respiratory allergy. Five molds (Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Trichoderm viride, Penicillium crustosum Group, Stachybotrys chartarum and Wallemia sebi) found in water-damaged homes in the Cleveland area.have been linked to asthmatics. The moderately severe asthmatic children from homes that underwent mold remediation subsequently had a lower rate of asthma exacerbations compared to control asthmatics (non-remediated homes). Our hypothesis is that certain mold species may be more potent than others in asthma induction. Our mold/allergy mouse model exhibits many characteristics of human allergic asthma and has been used to demonstrate cause and effect, dose response, has compared the potency of 3 molds including S. chartarum to house dust mite (HDM), and has identified specific allergens. Studies have found that S. chartarum causes sensory irritation in immunized and non-immunized mice and elevated IgE with repeated exposures, in addition to anecdotal and published reports associating it with asthma. Studies from our laboratory have found that S. chartarum extracts induces both antigen non-specific and specific allergic asthma-like responses and that it is half as potent as HDM in the induction of allergic responses (rat leukemia basophil assay). Currently, we are evaluating the allergic potential of the other 4 molds in the Cleveland area homes that have been linked to asthma in our mouse model. There are still questions, both qualitative and quantitative, that need to be answered before the risks associated with indoor exposure to molds can be adequately assessed.

(This abstract has been reviewed by the NHEERL, US EPA and does not reflect the EPA policies.)

URLs/Downloads:

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Start Date: 03/26/2007
Completion Date: 03/26/2007
Record Last Revised: 03/29/2007
Record Created: 07/31/2006
Record Released: 07/31/2006
Record ID: 156683

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

EXPERIMENTAL TOXICOLOGY DIVISION

IMMUNOTOXICOLOGY BRANCH