Lourdes Salvador's Column
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Mold Exposure May Lead to SarcoidosisMold Exposure May Lead to Sarcoidosis
by Lourdes Salvador
Mold and fungi in the home may increase the risk of sarcoidosis according to a new study.
Sarcoidosis is a disease process in which inflammation (swelling) occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin, or other tissues. According to the Mayo Clinic, "doctors believe sarcoidosis results from an abnormal immune response — most likely to something inhaled from the air."
"There is increasing evidence that exposure to moulds (fungi) may influence the development of sarcoidosis," suggest Researchers Marjeta Terčelj and colleagues. "The higher activities of NAHA (fungi) enzyme found in homes of subjects with active and recurrent sarcoidosis suggest that exposure to fungi is related to the risk of sarcoidosis."
The study revealed that high activities of airborne enzymes indicating fungal cell mass were found significantly more often in the homes of subjects with ongoing or recurrent sarcoidosis.
These findings show that fungi in the environment could play a role in the development of sarcoidosis. Terčelj and colleagues suggest that remedial action be undertaken when a home tests for high levels of fungi.
Similar inflammatory processes can be observed in people with myalgic encephamyelitis and multiple chemical sensitivity.
"None of the cases of sarcoidosis investigated had any signs of fungal infection as evidenced by low titres against common fungi and negative cultures of lung biopsies or lung lavage," says Terčelj, "a possible mechanism could be the development of a late hypersensitivity reaction towards some agent in the fungal cell wall."
This study suggests that routine examination of sarcoidosis patients should include collecting information on possible fungal exposure at home or in the workplace.
Marjeta Terčelj, Barbara Salobir, Matevz Harlander, and Ragnar Rylander. Fungal exposure in homes of patients with sarcoidosis - an environmental exposure study. Environmental Health 2011, 10:8 doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-8.
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Copyrighted 2011 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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