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EVALUATION OF STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM IN THE HOUSE OF AN INFANT WITH PULMONARY HEMORRHAGE: QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER REMEDIATION
Vesper, S J., D. G. Dearborn, I. Yike, T. Allan, J. Sobolewski, S. F. Hinkley, B. B. Jarvis, AND R A. Haugland. EVALUATION OF STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM IN THE HOUSE OF AN INFANT WITH PULMONARY HEMORRHAGE: QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER REMEDIATION. JOURNAL OF URBAN HEALTH: BULLETIN OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF MEDICINE 77(1):68-85, (2000).
To understand children's risks from exposure to molds in their environment and to explore risk management options for mitigating those risks.
Stachybotrys chartarum is an indoor mold that has been associated with pulmonary hemorrhage (PH) cases in the Cleveland, Ohio area. This study applied two new quantitative measurements to air samples from a home where an infant developed PH. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and a protein synthesis inhibition assay were used to determine the level of S. chartarum spores and their toxicity in air samples which were taken before, during and after a remediation program was implemented to remove the fungus. Initial spore concentrations were between 0.1 and 9.3 spores/m3 of air and the toxicity of air particulates was correspondingly low. However, the dust in the house contained between 0.4 to 2.1 x 103 spores/mg (as determined by hemocytometer counts). The remediation program removed all contaminated wallboard, paneling and carpeting in the water damaged areas of the home. In addition, a sodium hypochlorite solution was used to spray all surfaces during remediation. Although spore counts and toxicity were high during remediation, air samples taken post-remediation showed no detectable levels of S. chartarum or related toxicity. Nine isolates of S. chartarum obtained from the home were analyzed for spore toxicity, hemolytic activity and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) banding patterns. None of the isolates produced highly toxic spores (>90 mg T2 toxin equivalents per g wet wt. spores) after 10 and 30-days growth on wet wallboard but three isolates were consistently hemolytic. DNA banding patterns suggested at least one of these isolates was related to isolates from previously investigated case infant homes.