Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Mucor racemosus (Mould)

Background Info:

M. racemosus was one of the first soil fungi ever to have been discovered, and was isolated as early as 1886. It has a world-wide distribution, reported frequently all over Europe and in the Americas from Alaska to Brazil. The species is primarily a soil fungus but has been found elsewhere, such as in horse manure, plant remains, grains, vegetables and nuts. In the tropics it is found in the higher altitudes. It is often seen on soft fruit, fruit juice and marmalade. Mucor is also the dominating mould found in floor dust in houses and is considered an indoor mould.


Adverse Reactions:


[ 1 / 6 ]

Thirty-four adult atopic subjects were randomized into mold-sensitive groups based on skin test reactivity by skin percutaneous testing (SPT) and/or intradermal (ID) testing to a mixed mold (MM) extract preparation (Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Fusarium oxysporum, Alternaria tenuis, Epicoccum nigrum, Hormodendrum cladosporioides, Pullularia sp., Penicillium notatum, Mucor racemosus, and Trichophyton rubrum). Based on challenge results and scoring model, mold-sensitive subjects compared with nonmold-sensitive subjects experienced cumulatively higher symptom scores after oral challenge to an MM extract preparation. Future studies are warranted to confirm whether ingestion of aeroallergenic molds in food may be another contributor to symptoms in mold-sensitive individuals. (Luccioli 2009 ref.24507 7)

Luccioli S, Malka-Rais J, Nsouli TM, Bellanti JA. Clinical reactivity to ingestion challenge with mixed mold extract may be enhanced in subjects sensitized to molds. Allergy Asthma Proc 2009 Jul;30(4):433-442

[ 2 / 6 ]

Mold hypersensitivity may play a role in chronic sinusitis. Although mucor has been identified in allergic fungal sinusitis, to our knowledge this is the first reported case of mucor associated mycetoma in association with immediate hypersensitivity to mucor. A 39 year old Chinese male presented with a 10 year history of nasal congestion with the left side of the nose being more affected. The patient also complained of a foul smell in his nose and occasional yellowish discharge from the left side of his nose. On endoscopy an enlarged left uncinate process, and polypoid tissue in the area of the left osteomeatal complex were noted. Fungal cultures however revealed no growth. The total IgE was 83 IU/mL. Because of the fungal elements noted on histopathology, extensive fungal aeroallergens were studied. No specific IgE was noted to Alternaria tenius, Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Cladosporium herbarum, Echinococcus purpurascens, Erythronum purpurascens, Fusarium moniliforme, Helminthosporum halodes, or Penicillium notatum. However, the specific IgE to Mucor racemosus was increased at 2.14 kIU/mL. (Lin 2006 ref.25662 7)

Lin RY, Aziz MS, Yoo-Bowne H Maxillary sinus mycetoma associated with hypersensitivity to Mucor racemosus. Internet J Asthma Allergy Immunol 2006; 5(1):-

[ 3 / 6 ]

A 22-year-old woman developed recurrent episodes of fever, cough and dyspnea after repeated exposure to a misting fountain at home. A diagnosis of extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA) was made by detection of serum antibodies against the fountain water, by culture of Bacillus subtilis, Mucor racemosus, Mucor mucedo, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae from the water, and by detection of specific IgG antibodies against Bacillus subtilis and the Mucores. An inhalation challenge with the misting fountain resulted in a positive reaction. Because this humidifier system has recently become widespread at home, clinicians should be aware of this specific type of EAA which may be called "misting fountain alveolitis". (Koschel 2004 ref.10912 2)

Koschel D, Sennekamp J, Schurz C, Muller-Wening D. Misting-fountain-alveolitis. [German] Pneumologie 2004:58(9):666-9

[ 4 / 6 ]

In a study in Sao Paulo, Brazil, evaluating sensitisation in 201 patients with asthma and/or allergic rhinitis to 42 airborne fungi using skin specific IgE tests, 15 were shown to be sensitised to Alternaria, 15 to Aspergillus, 23 to Aureobasidium, 37 to Candida, 15 to Chaetomium, 19 to Epicoccum, 17 to Mucor, 20 to Phoma, 19 to Trichoderma, and 14 to Rhizopus. . (Mohovic 1988 ref.11297 5)

Mohovic J, Gambale W, Croce J. Cutaneous positivity in patients with respiratory allergies to 42 allergenic extracts of airborne fungi isolated in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 1988;16(6):397-402

[ 5 / 6 ]

The possible role of marijuana (MJ) in inducing sensitization to Aspergillus organisms was studied in 28 MJ smokers by evaluating their clinical status and immune responses to microorganisms isolated from MJ. The spectrum of illnesses included one patient with systemic aspergillosis and seven patients with a history of bronchospasm after the smoking of MJ. Twenty-one smokers were asymptomatic. Fungi were identified in 13 of 14 MJ samples and included Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, Mucor, Penicillium, and thermophilic actinomycetes. Precipitins to Aspergillus antigens were found in 13 of 23 smokers and in one of 10 controls, while significant blastogenesis to Aspergillus was demonstrated in only three of 23 MJ smokers. When samples were smoked into an Andersen air sampler, A. fumigatus passed easily through contaminated MJ cigarettes. Thus the use of MJ assumes the risks of both fungal exposure and infection, as well as the possible induction of a variety of immunologic lung disorders. (Kagen 1983 ref.26696 0)

Kagen SL, Kurup VP, Sohnle PG, Fink JN. Marijuana smoking and fungal sensitization. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1983 Apr;71(4):389-93.

[ 6 / 6 ]

In different clinical studies, Mucor has been found to be an important mould allergen, with patients showing hypersensitivity in both SPT and provocation tests (Koivikko in Foucard). Specific IgE antibodies using Phadebas RAST were detected in 77.8% of the patients tested, compared to 33.3% in SPT. (Virchow 1975 ref.1219 2)

Virchow C, Roth A, Debelic M, Möller E. Radio-allergo-sorbent-test (RAST) bei Schimmelpilzsporensensibilisierung. Praxder Pneum 1975;29:555-567

Non-Immune reactions

[ 1 ]

"Toxic mold syndrome" is a controversial diagnosis associated with exposure to mold-contaminated environments. Molds are known to induce asthma and allergic rhinitis through IgE-mediated mechanisms, to cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis through other immune mechanisms, and to cause life-threatening primary and secondary infections in immunocompromised patients. Mold metabolites may be irritants and may be involved in "sick building syndrome." Patients with environmental mold exposure have presented with atypical constitutional and systemic symptoms, associating those symptoms with the contaminated environment. This study's objective was to characterize the clinical features and possible etiology of symptoms in patients with chief complaints related to mold exposure. The distribution of fungal species in patients with positive SPT or ICT reactions attributed 5 patients to Chaetomium globosum. (No details though). (Edmondson 2005 ref.11405 8)

Species Number of patients
Alternaria alternata 5
Acremonium strictum 4
Apiospora montagnei 2
Aspergillus fumigatus 6
Aspergillus niger 2
Aureobasidium pullulans 5
Botrytis cinerea 2
Candida albicans 3
Candida tropicalis 3
Cladosporium cladosporioides 3
Cladosporium fulvum 5
Chaetomium globosum 5
Chrysosporium pruinosum 5
Colletotrichum atramentarium 2
Drechslera sorokiniana 2
Drechslera spicifera 5
Epicoccum nigrum 8
Fusarium oxysporum 6
Geotrichum candidum 2
Gliocladium fimbriatum 4
Hypocrea rufa 3
Microsporum audouinii 3
Microsporum canis 7
Monilia sitophila 5
Mucor racemosus 6
Nigrospora oryzae 7
Paecilomyces variotii 2
Penicillium chrysogenum 9
Phoma destructiva 5
Rhizopus nigricans 5
Rhodotorula rubra 9
Saccharomyces cerevisiae 6
Scopulariopsis brevicaulis 4
Stachybotrys chartarum 5
Stemphylium herbarum 10
Streptomyces griseus* 7
Syncephalastrum species 5
Tetracoccosporium species 3
Trichothecium roseum 2
Trichophyton rubrum 3
(Edmondson 2005 ref.11405 8)

Edmondson DA, Nordness ME, Zacharisen MC, Kurup VP, Fink JN. Allergy and "toxic mold syndrome". Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2005;94(2):234-9.


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