Mold: Aspergillus fumigatus
A. fumigatus is frequently found in homes and buildings. It is considered to be an opportunistic pathogen, meaning it rarely infects healthy individuals, but is the leading cause of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised individuals such as cancer, HIV or transplant patients. IA is the leading cause of death in these patients, with a mortality rate of 30% to 80%. Patients are infected by breathing in the spores of the fungi.
Heath Effects: Gliotoxin has been shown to suppress the immune system, making the host more susceptible to the infections by A. fumigatus or other opportunistic pathogens. Gliotoxin was demonstrated to suppress T-cell response, inhibit antigen-presenting cell function and induce the death of monocytes.