Attributes of Stachybotrys chartarum and its association with human disease

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Feb;113(2):200-8; quiz 209. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2003.12.018.


Mold contamination and toxicities are not limited to crops and animals; they are also a concern in human health. Molds occur in outdoor and indoor environments, and water-damaged buildings harbor and provide substrate for several mold species. Of these, Stachybotrys chartarum poses a particular threat to occupants. Patients with building-related symptoms and infant idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage often have histories of living in moldy, water-damaged buildings. Although a causal connection is far from being unequivocally proven, S. chartarum has been associated with such clinical conditions. These illnesses could be attributed in part to mycotoxins released by S. chartarum. Recently, a hemolysin released by this mold was found to be hemolytic in vitro and in vivo. In addition, allergenic proteins have been characterized from S. chartarum. The exact mechanism of S. chartarum pathogenesis has not yet been defined. Moreover, a causality-effect relation is not yet established. This review summarizes available information on the pathogenic attributes of S. chartarum and calls for well-controlled objective studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Hemolysin Proteins / metabolism*
  • Hemorrhage / microbiology
  • Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Hemosiderosis / microbiology
  • Hemosiderosis / physiopathology
  • Horse Diseases / microbiology
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / microbiology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Mycoses / physiopathology*
  • Mycotoxins / metabolism*
  • Mycotoxins / toxicity
  • Stachybotrys / metabolism*
  • Stachybotrys / pathogenicity*


  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Mycotoxins
  • stachybotrotoxin