26 Jun 2022

Stachybotrys chartarum

A rapidly-growing fungus that produces a white colony that becomes black with age with a reverse that is white but becomes black. Growth occurs within five days when incubated at 25oC (77oF). It has worldwide distribution and is commonly isolated from soil, desert soil, saline soil, sewage sludge, compost, seawater, fresh water, decaying plant substrates, moldy hay and straw, vegetables and grasses, bird feathers, frescoes of a monastery, wall paper, gypsum board, and wood wall panels. It is capable of decomposing cellulose, chitin, and wool. It produces trichothecene mycotoxins in its mycelium that causes stachybotryotoxicosis in animals and man. Animal stachybotryotoxicosis is caused by the ingestion of mycotoxin contaminated food. In man, stachybotryotoxicosis is caused by the inhalation of the mycotoxin which produces upper respiratory and/or neurologic symptoms, including dermatitis, coughing, rhinitis, irritated throat, fever, headache, feebleness and fatigue.