Stachybotrys chartarum
Kelly Hunter

Stachyborys chartarum is a kind of filamentous fungi.  It mainly grows out doors but can also grow indoors if conditions are right. S. chartarum requires a constant source of water as well as a high cellulose/low nitrogen environment.  It is a slimy black mold and can be found in areas where there is water damage; the water coupled with the high cellulose building materials make ideal habitats.  S, chartarum has also been blamed for “sick buildings” due to its ability to make mycotoxins called trichothecenes.  “Sick buildings” are buildings in which a mold problem has triggered illnesses in many of its inhabitants.   One such illness is pulmonary hemosiderosis, a disease in which pulmonary hemorrhages (bleeding in the lungs) causes the affected person to cough up blood.  There was an outbreak of this illness in several babies in Cleveland, Ohio in 1993-1994 and it was determined that water damage to the infants home was one risk factor for the condition.  It has not, however been proven that S. chartcharum is the cause of such illnesses but further study is in progress.  Ingestion of the toxins produced by S. chartarum does cause a condition called Sachybotryotoxicosis, and exposure to any mold can cause respiratory problems especially in those with an allergy to mold.  It is difficult to identify S. chartcharum, for a positive identification the mold must be examined under a microscope. 

*Disclaimer - This report was written by a student participaring in a microbiology course at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The accuracy of the contents of this report is not guaranteed and it is recommended that you seek additional sources of information to verify the contents.

 

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