Stachybotrys chartarum is a type of mold commonly found in water-damaged buildings, and its exposure has been linked to various health problems. In this response, we will discuss how this mold is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and autoimmunity. We will also examine its mechanism of action and associated health issues.
Link to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Autoimmunity:
Exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum has been linked to various health problems, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and a variety of autoimmune conditions. A study found that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia had higher levels of antibodies to Stachybotrys chartarum than control groups. Exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum has also been linked to autoimmune conditions, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Mechanism of Action:
Stachybotrys chartarum produces mycotoxins, enzymes, and proinflammatory cytokines that alter the function of the blood-brain barrier, allowing for the entry of autoreactive T-helper 1 (Th1), Th17, and antibodies into the nervous system. This leads to damage to microglia, astrocytes, and neurons, which can cause neuro-autoimmunity commonly seen in patients exposed to molds.
Associated Health Issues:
Exposure to Stachybotrys chartarum has been linked to a variety of health problems, including edema, organic toxic dust syndrome, pulmonary issues, and sick building syndrome. Sick building syndrome is a condition where occupants of a building experience acute health problems, such as headaches, fatigue, and respiratory problems, that are directly related to time spent in the building.
Stachybotrys chartarum is known to cross-react with other molds, including Aspergillus and Penicillium. Cross-reactivity occurs when the immune system reacts to an antigen that is similar to the one it is targeting. This can cause confusion in the immune system, leading to the development of autoimmune conditions.