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  Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Rhizopus nigricans

Background Info:

Also known as Rhizopus stolonifer.

Rhizopus is closely related to Mucor and inhabits the same ecological niches. R. nigricans is one of the most common members of the Mucorales and has a world-wide distribution, although most commonly occurring in warmer areas. It has frequently been reported from dry habitats. The spores are dispersed in hot, dry weather. It is frequently isolated from both forest and cultivated soils. It occurs in children's sandboxes. Typical microhabitats include fresh or decaying litter such as pine needles and leaves. Other known substrates are sweet potato, cold-stored strawberries, stewed fruits, and the nests, feathers and droppings of wild birds.

 

Adverse Reactions:

IMMUNE REACTIONS


[ 1 / 14 ]

Recent data indicate that fungi may contribute to increased severity of asthma. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of allergy to 15 mold allergens among patients hospitalized because of exacerbation of asthma and to evaluate the relationship between the severity of the disease and allergy to particular molds. Skin prick tests with standard aeroallergens of airborne allergens, including grass, tree, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, feather, and cat and dog fur, and a panel of mold allergens, including Alternaria, Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Trichothecium, Chaetomium globosum, Epicoccum, Epidermophyton, Helminthosporium, Aureobasidium pullulans, Rhizopus nigricans, Fusarium, Mucor, Merulius lacrymans, and yeast mix, were performed in 105 asthmatic patients and 30 controls. Positive skin prick test results were found in 98% of asthmatic patients and 66% of controls. Sensitivity to A pullulans was significantly associated with more severe asthma. Sensitization to Helminthosporium was associated with an increased number of asthma exacerbations that required hospitalization. The study concludes that sensitization to A pullulans is a risk factor for severe asthma. Sensitization to Helminthosporium may be related to asthma exacerbation that requires hospitalization. (Niedoszytko 2007 ref.16414 8)

Prevalence of +ve SPT
Allergen No patients (%) n=105
Dermatophagoides farinae 52 (50)
Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 50 (48)
Feather 23 (22)
Grass mix 42 (40)
Cat 40 (38
Tree Betulaceae38 (36)
Fusarium 34 (33)
Dog 28 (27)
Aureobasidium pullulans 28 (27)
Mucor 28 (27)
Tree Fagaceae 26 (25)
Yeasts 26 (25)
Trichothecium roseum 25 (24)
Helminthosporium 25 (24)
Alternaria 25 (24)
Merulius lacrymans 25 (24)
Chaetomium globosum 22 (21)
Rhizopus nigricans 21 (20)
Aspergillus 21 (20)
Epicoccum 18 (17)
Cladosporium 15 (14)
Penicillium 14 (13)
(Niedoszytko 2007 ref.16414 7)

Reference:
Niedoszytko M, Chelminska M, Jassem E, Czestochowska E. Association between sensitization to Aureobasidium pullulans (Pullularia sp) and severity of asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2007 Feb;98(2):153-156



[ 2 / 14 ]

Rhizopus oryzae spores, dispersed in hot dry weather, contain allergenic proteins which can produce respiratory and nasal symptoms in concentration (chronic cough, dyspnea, chest tightness, chronic phlegm, snuffle, snizzle and allergic rhinitis). In a study of 130 tobacco-processing workers and 112 control workers, the average dust concentrations ranged from 13.76 to 29.55 mg/m(3) in the tobacco processing workshops. The numbers of fungi colonies in the processing environments were much higher than those in the control environments. The prevalences of chronic respiratory or nasal symptoms in exposed workers were significantly higher than those in control workers. The positive prevalences of specific IgE reactions to fungi (26.92% for A.fumigatus and 51.54% for Rhizopus nigricans) in exposed workers were also significantly higher than those in control workers. The positive prevalences of the skin prick test showed that 18.46% of the exposed workers were positive to A. fumigatus and 23.85% were positive to Rhizopus nigricans. (Zhang 2005 ref.25669 7)

Reference:
Zhang Y, Chen J, Chen Y, Dong J, Wei Q, Lou J. Environmental mycological study and allergic respiratory disease among tobacco processing workers. J Occup Health 2005 Mar;47(2):181-7.



[ 3 / 14 ]

Rhizopus nigricans is one of the most common members of the Mucorales that produces opportunistic infections and hypersensitivity states. Data concerning experimental induction in guinea pigs of hypersensitivity pneumonitis with a glycoprotein antigen are shown in this study. The results from this animal model suggest that hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a typical delayed-type reaction due to chronic contact with the heterologous glycoprotein of Rn. (Alonso 1997 ref.25686 2)

Reference:
Alonso A, Rodríguez SR, Rodríguez SM, Mouchián K, Albónico JF, Irañeta SG. Interstitial pneumonitis induced in guinea pigs by the antigens of Rhizopus nigricans. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 1997 Mar-Apr;7(2):103-9.



[ 4 / 14 ]

A 30 year old coal miner whose clinical picture (rhinorrhoea, sneezing, cough, and wheezing which was only present at work) suggested a respiratory allergy which occurred only in the mine where he worked. Serum specific IgE levels, skin tests, and bronchial provocation tests with different commercial extracts showed sensitisation to Rhizopus nigricans. Rhizopus spp were found inside the mine, as demonstrated by cultures on petri plates. serum IgE level was 191 kU/l. Intradermal tests positive for Rhizopus nigricans only. Serum specific IgE against Rhizopus nigricans was 3.50 PRU/ml. (Gamboa 1996 ref.25687 3)

Reference:
Gamboa PM, Jáuregui I, Urrutia I, Antépara I, González G, Mú Occupational asthma in a coal miner. Thorax 1996 Aug;51(8):867-8.



[ 5 / 14 ]

Rhizopus grows on the cut surface of wood and is aerosolized by trimming of the wood into specific-size pieces, which may result in acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis as described in Scandinavian sawmill workers (Woodtrimmer's disease). (O'Connell 1995 ref.25688 3)

Reference:
O'Connell MA, Pluss JL, Schkade P, Henry AR, Goodman DL. Rhizopus-induced hypersensitivity pneumonitis in a tractor driver. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995 Mar;95(3):779-80.



[ 6 / 14 ]

Rhizopus-induced hypersensitivity pneumonitis in a tractor driver. A 49-year-old male farmer with a 5-month history of progressive dyspnea, fatigue, and a nonproductive cough. The onset of symptoms was indolent without fever, chills, or acute episodes of dyspnea. Achest radiograph showed bilateral diffuse interstitial infiltrates. While the patient was hospitalized for evaluation (i.e., removed from the farm environment for 14 days), his dyspnea subjectively decreased. A presumptive diagnosis of chronic farmer's lung was made. However, the patient's serum did not reveal precipitins to common thermophilic actinomycetes. Cultures obtained from gross contamination of an enclosed-cab farm tractor air-conditioning system resulted in luxuriant growth of Rhizopus species. Immunodiffusion showed striking precipitin bands in response to a Rhizopus extract made from the culture plate colonies. (O'Connell 1995 ref.25688 9)

Reference:
O'Connell MA, Pluss JL, Schkade P, Henry AR, Goodman DL. Rhizopus-induced hypersensitivity pneumonitis in a tractor driver. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995 Mar;95(3):779-80.



[ 7 / 14 ]

Rhizopus is often included in the list of moulds which are thought to have clinical relevance for skin testing mould-sensitive patients. (Howard in Al-Doory 1984 ref.1229 5) About half of the 21 suspected mould-allergy patients tested in vitro for IgE antibodies to Rhizopus were positive in a US population. (Karlsson 1989 ref.6458 6)

Reference:
Karlsson-Borgå A, Jonsson P, Rolfsen W. Specific IgE antibodies to 16 widespread mold genera in patients with suspected mold allergy.. Ann Allergy 1989;63:521-526



[ 8 / 14 ]

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)

Reference:
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



[ 9 / 14 ]

A 28-year-old man developed multiple episodes of fever, cough, shortness of breath, and leukocytosis several hours after cutting live oak and maple trees. Fungal cultures of wood chips from oak and maple trees were positive for Penicillium (three species), Paecilomyces sp., Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus sp., and Rhizopus sp. It was suggested that Penicillium sp. and Paecilomyces sp. shared cross-reactive antigens that were the significant antigens in the oak chips. The patient likely had hypersensitivity pneumonitis on exposure to Penicillium sp., when he was cutting trees. (Dykewicz 1988 ref.3016 7)

Reference:
Dykewicz MS, Laufer P, Patterson R, Roberts M, Sommers HM Woodman's disease: hypersensitivity pneumonitis from cutting live trees. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1988;81(2):455-60



[ 10 / 14 ]

Short-lasting alveolitis-like symptoms are described in Swedish sawmill workers who are trimming and sorting moldy planks. Precipitating antibodies to Rhizopus antigen were demonstrated in more than 50% of the wood trimmers, who are exposed to greater than 10(6) Rhizopus colony-forming units/m3. Febrile reactions with muscular pain and malaise occurred in 10-20% at peak exposure levels. Sawmill workers with repeated acute symptoms had high titres of precipitating antibodies. The prevalence of this disease in the total Swedish wood trimmer population was estimated at 5-10%. Less typical symptoms from upper and lower airways and a mild, reversible decrement of forced vital capacity over one week's work shift was also suspected to be caused by this airborn mold. The pathogenetic mechanism is assumed to be identical with the wood mold reactions in wood chip burners, where a more complete picture of typical allergic alveolitis is seen. (Belin 1987 ref.25692 7)

Reference:
Belin L. Sawmill alveolitis in Sweden. Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 1987;82(3-4):440-3.



[ 11 / 14 ]

A case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by Rhizopus. (Tada 1987 ref.25691 0)

Reference:
Tada S, Miyagawa H, Shiraishi T, Nabe M, Makimoto K, Sato K, Takeda S, Oheda Y, Kitade K, Kimura I. The significance of lymphocyte blastogenesis in the detection of a specific antigen demonstrated by a case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by Rhizopus. [Japanese] Nihon Kyobu Shikkan Gakkai Zasshi 1987 Oct;25(10):1126-34.



[ 12 / 14 ]

Pulmonary function was studied in 66 wood trimmers exposed to organic dust (moulds) after a month of no exposure (summer vacation) and then three and 27 months later, and also during a working week. The forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expired volume in one second (FEV1) were reduced by an average of 0.4 and 0.31, respectively, after one month of no exposure, however, the nitrogen washout variables showed no clear changes. Repeated measurements three months later on a Monday morning after two days of no exposure showed a further reduction in FVC and FEV1 by an average of 0.21 in a sawmill with high exposure to moulds (10 colony-forming units/m3), but not in another sawmill with ten times lower exposure. Further recordings 27 months later displayed no further worsening in any spirometric variable. No change in lung function was noted after one day of work, but a further reduction in FVC was seen in non-smokers at the end of the week, with apparent resolution over the weekend. The impairment was more obvious at the sawmill with higher air concentrations of organic dust than at the other sawmill. It is concluded that wood trimmers may develop restrictive pulmonary dysfunction, which might be explained by an immunopathological reaction to heavy mould exposure. (Hedenstierna 1986 ref.25693 5)

Reference:
Hedenstierna G, Alexandersson R, Belin L, Wimander K, Rosén G. Lung function and rhizopus antibodies in wood trimmers. A cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1986;58(3):167-77.



[ 13 / 14 ]

Acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by Rhizopus species has been described in Scandinavian sawmill workers (Woodtrimmer's disease). (Wimander 1980 ref.25705 8) (Belin 1980 ref.25694 7)

Reference:
Wimander K, Belin L. Recognition of allergic alveolitis in the trimming department of a Swedish sawmill. Eur J Respir Dis Suppl 1980;107:163-7.



[ 14 / 14 ]

"Wood trimmer's disease" in Sweden. (Belin 1980 ref.25694 5)

Reference:
Belin L. Clinical and immunological data on "wood trimmer's disease" in Sweden. Eur J Respir Dis Suppl 1980;107:169-76.




Non-Immune reactions


[ 1 ]

Fungal sinusitis is frequently seen in diabetic or immunocompromised patients, although it has also been reported in immunocompetent individuals. This study looked at the mycological and clinical aspects of fungal sinusitis in a tertiary referral center in Tamil Nadu, India. A total of 211 culture-positive fungal sinusitis samples were analysed. Of these, 63% had allergic fungal sinusitis and 34% had invasive fungal sinusitis. Aspergillus flavus was the most common causative agent of allergic fungal sinusitis and Rhizopus arrhizus was the most common causative agent of acute invasive sinusitis. (Michael 2008 ref.25670 5)

Reference:
Michael RC, Michael JS, Ashbee RH, Mathews MS. Mycological profile of fungal sinusitis: An audit of specimens over a 7-year period in a tertiary care hospital in Tamil Nadu. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2008 Oct-Dec;51(4):493-6.



[ 2 ]

Fungal sinusitis is frequently seen in diabetic or immunocompromised patients, although it has also been reported in immunocompetent individuals. This study looked at the mycological and clinical aspects of fungal sinusitis in a tertiary referral center in Tamil Nadu, India. A total of 211 culture-positive fungal sinusitis samples were analysed. Of these, 63% had allergic fungal sinusitis and 34% had invasive fungal sinusitis. Aspergillus flavus was the most common causative agent of allergic fungal sinusitis and Rhizopus arrhizus was the most common causative agent of acute invasive sinusitis. (Michael 2008 ref.25670 5)

Reference:
Michael RC, Michael JS, Ashbee RH, Mathews MS. Mycological profile of fungal sinusitis: An audit of specimens over a 7-year period in a tertiary care hospital in Tamil Nadu. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2008 Oct-Dec;51(4):493-6.



[ 3 ]

"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)

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




Occupational reactions


[ 1 ]

Airborne fungi were collected over a one year period at 2-month intervals at 2 sawmills in Croatia (SM 1 and SM 2) processing mainly beech wood and oak wood. Health hazardous levels of airborne fungi were present only in SM 1. These levels were related to saw working sites and were season-dependent, i.e. present only during the summer. Penicillium (50-100%), Paecilomyces (43-100%) and Chrysonilia (33-100%) dominated among 17 fungal genera identified in both sawmills. Symptoms of rhinitis, asthma, and dry cough were most frequently recorded among analysed workers. SPT to moulds was negative in all tested workers, except one positive to R. nigricans, indicating that moderate airborne fungi levels found in the analysed sawmills were not related to IgE-mediated sensitization to moulds in exposed workers, even in atopics. (Klaric 2012 ref.28668 3)

Reference:
Klaric MS, Varnai VM, Calusic AL, Macan J. Occupational exposure to airborne fungi in two Croatian sawmills and atopy in exposed workers. Ann Agric Environ Med 2012;19(2):213-219



[ 2 ]

The risk for occupational exposure is greatest among food handlers during the storage, transfer and marketing of strawberries, peaches, cherries, corn and peanuts (Sneller, p 252 in Al-Doory).

Reference:
Al Doory Y, Domson J. Eds. Mould Allergy. Lea & Febiger 1984;150




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