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  • H&L Environmental Service

Mold of the Month: Chaetomium


Microscopic View

Colony Description:

  • Colonies appear powdery to woolly, greyish-green to olivaaceous-green in colour.

Spore (Conidia) Description:

  • Spores (ascospores) of Chaetomium are produced within structures (asci) contained in a flask-shaped fruiting body known as perithecium. The spores ooze out of the perithecium and get trapped by coiled or dichotomously branched hairs that grow around the neck of the perithecium.

Habitat outdoors:

  • Chaetomium molds are commonly found in soil, air, dung, and plant debris.

Habitat Indoors:

  • Damp or leaking roof, a damp basement, leaky pipes, or areas around the sink.

Potential Health Effects:


Allergenic

Common

  • Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).

  • Dermatitis

  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis

Pathogenic


Nail Infection
  • Skin and nail infections

  • Pulmonary mycosis

  • Severe brain abscesses

  • Fatal cerebral infections

  • Memory loss

  • Balance issues

  • Nose bleeds

  • Acid reflux

  • Headaches

  • Seizures

  • Internal lesions

  • Fever

  • Fatal cerebral infections

  • General malaise


Toxigenic


Toxins are chemical components which are capable of causing diseases and death.

Chaetomium molds can produce several mycotoxins. Many of these compounds have been reported to have teratogenic and carcinogenic effects.

Below are some of the toxins produced.

  • Sterigmatocystin,

  • O-methylsterigmatocystin,

  • Chaetochromin,

  • Chaetocin

  • Chetomin

  • Cochliodinols,

  • Mollicellin


Written by: Terry Dorleon


References

  • Doctor Fungus. (n.d.). Chaetomium Species. Retrieved January 3, 2020, from Doctor Fungus: https://drfungus.org/knowledge-base/chaetomium-species/

  • Kim, D. M., Lee, M. H., Suh, M. K., Ha, G. Y., Kim, H., & Choi, J. S. (2013, may 10). Onychomycosis Caused by Chaetomium globosum. doi:10.5021/ad.2013.25.2.232

  • KUNG'U, J. (n.d.). Chaetomium Species as Indoor Contaminants. Retrieved January 03, 2020, from Mold Bacteria Consulting: http://www.moldbacteriaconsulting.com/fungi/chaetomium-species-as-indoor.html

  • Ward, J. (2019, April 13). Chaetomium. Retrieved January 3, 2020, from Mold Busters: https://www.bustmold.com/resources/mold-library/chaetomium/

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