Stachybotrys sp

Stachybotrys sp

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Stachybotrys sp

Stachybotrys sp Species Information

15+ species. Ubiquitous, Cosmopolitan.

Stachybotrys sp Scientific Information

Aw - 0.94 , optimum Aw - >0.98.

Stachybotrys sp Growth Characteristics

 Stachybotyrs grows well on wet general cellulose surfaces but is slow.

This is a slow growing fungus on media. It does not compete well with other rapidly growing fungi. The dark colored fungi grows on building material with a high cellulose content and a low nitrogen content. Areas with relative humidities above 55% and are subject to temperature fluctuations are ideal for toxin production.

This organism is rarely found in outdoor samples. The spores are in a gelatinous mass. Appropriate media for the growth of this organism will have a high cellulose content and a low nitrogen content. The spores will die readily after release. 

Where is Stachybotrys sp found?

 Often found growing outside on soil, decaying plant substrates, decomposing cellulose (hay, straw), leaf litter, and seeds. Growth not influenced by soil pH or copper; growth enhanced by manure. Grows well indoors on wet general cellulose surfaces such as wallboard, jute, wicker, straw baskets. 

Is Stachybotrys sp Allergenic?

Stachybotrys is an allergen. Type I allergies reported

Toxins Produced by Stachybotrys sp

Known as one of the most toxigenic species of mold: Macrocyclic trichothecenes: verrucarin J, roridin E, satratoxin F, G & H, sporidesmin G, trichoverrol; cyclosporins, stachybotryolactone.

Several strains of this fungus (S. atra, S. chartarum and S. alternans are synonymous) may produce a trichothecene mycotoxin- Satratoxin H - which is a poisonous by inhalation. The toxins are present on the fungal spores. 

Stachybotrys sp Health Effects

Stachyborys does present a human pathogenic risk. Rare cases reported, none of which have been directly linked to stachybotrys.

Individuals with chronic exposure to the toxin produced by this fungus reported cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, intermittent local hair loss and generalized malaise. The toxins produced by this fungus will suppress the immune system affecting the lymphoid tissue and the bone marrow. Animals injected with the toxin from this fungus exhibited the following symptoms, necrosis and hemorrhage within the brain, thymus, spleen, intestine, lung, heart, lymph node, liver, and kidney. Affects by absorption of the toxin in the human lung are known as pneumomycosis.

Stachybotrys mycotoxicosis: human toxicosis has been described; may be characterized by dermatitis, cough, rhinitis, itching or burning sensation in mouth, throat, nasal passages and eyes. The best described toxicoses are from domestic animals that have eaten contaminated hay and straw or inhaled infected material from contaminated bedding.

There is controversy about toxigenic effects through inhalation of spores or mycelia. The following web sites cover both sides:

  • CDC report on Hemosiderosis
  • Case Definition for Acute Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemorrhage in Infants
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Healthy House Watch
  • Infant Pulmonary Hemorrhage in a Suburban Home with Water Damage and Mold (Stachybotrys atra)

The dead spores are still allergenic and toxigenic. Percutaneous absorption has caused mild symptoms. 

Stachybotrys sp Uses

It is not known what industrial uses it may have.

How to test for / identify the presence of Stachybotrys sp

It can be identified via air and direct sampling methods. It may be confused with carbon fragments, memnoniella or gliomastix. Distinctive. Direct samples are preferred over culturable methods because Stachybotrys sometimes will not grow in culture.

It is usually difficult to find in indoor air samples unless it is physically disturbed or if there is (speculation- a drop in the relative humidity). 

Is Stachybotrys sp a "black mold"

Yes, Stachybotrys sp is often referred to as 'toxic mold' or 'black mold'. Neither of these terms have any meaning. Many fungi are dark (or black) and many produce mycotoxins.


Stachybotrys sp images

stachybotrys-chartarum stachybotrys

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