Research Papers

Mold Worsens Immune Conditions such as Autoimmunity and HIV


Mold is commonly found inside and outside the home as it grows in places with lots of moisture and is present in the air, soil, plants, animals and even humans. Mold spores are inhaled, meaning the respiratory system is the first point of contact. It is well known that mold spores can induce an allergic reaction, however it is still debated whether mold exposure is more problematic for individuals with pre-existing immune dysregulation such as autoimmune disorders or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This research paper assesses the harm of mold exposure in these conditions. Firstly the authors describe how the toxic metabolites that result from mold spores directly change the immune system and then they illustrate how these toxic metabolites can trigger the exacerbation, or even onset, of chronic inflammatory immune disorders.

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Fungi represent one of the most diverse and abundant eukaryotes on earth. The interplay between mold exposure and the host immune system is still not fully elucidated. Literature research focusing on up-to-date publications is providing a heterogenous picture of evidence and opinions regarding the role of mold and mycotoxins in the development of immune diseases. While the induction of allergic immune responses by molds is generally acknowledged, other direct health effects like the toxic mold syndrome are controversially discussed. However, recent observations indicate a particular importance of mold/mycotoxin exposure in individuals with pre-existing dysregulation of the immune system, due to exacerbation of underlying pathophysiology including allergic and non-allergic chronic inflammatory diseases, autoimmune disorders, and even human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression. In this review, we focus on the impact of mycotoxins regarding their impact on disease progression in pre-existing immune dysregulation. This is complemented by experimental in vivo and in vitro findings to present cellular and molecular modes of action. Furthermore, we discuss hypothetical mechanisms of action, where evidence is missing since much remains to be discovered.


Article Publication Date: 12/11/2021
DOI: 10.3390/ijms222212269

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