The terminology of "sick building syndrome" (SBS), meaning that a person may feel sick in a certain building, but when leaving the building, the symptoms will reverse, is imprecise. Many different environmental hazards may cause the feeling of sickness, such as high indoor air velocity, elevated noise, low or high humidity, vapors or dust. The Aim: To describe SBS in connection with exposure to indoor air dampness microbiota (DM). Methods: A search through Medline/Pubmed. Results and Conclusions: Chronic course of SBS may be avoided. By contrast, persistent or cumulative exposure to DM may make SBS potentially life-threatening and lead to irreversible dampness and mold hypersensitivity syndrome (DMHS). The corner feature of DMHS is acquired by dysregulation of the immune system in the direction of hypersensitivities (types I-IV) and simultaneous deprivation of immunity that manifests as increased susceptibility to infections. DMHS is a systemic low-grade inflammation and a biotoxicosis. There is already some evidence that DMHS may be linked to autoimmunity. Autoantibodies towards, e.g., myelin basic protein, myelin-associated glycoprotein, ganglioside GM1, smooth muscle cells and antinuclear autoantibodies were reported in mold-related illness. DMHS is also a mitochondropathy and endocrinopathy. The association of autoimmunity with DMHS should be confirmed through cohort studies preferably using chip-based technology.
Keywords: biotoxicosis; dampness and mold; hypersensitivity syndrome; mycotoxins; neurological symptoms; sensory receptors; sick building syndrome.