Mould allergies are primarily caused by spores although particulate hyphal fragments may also induce allergic reactions. It is estimated that about 20 percent of the human population is hereditary allergic to mould spores, pollen grains and other particulates at levels that may be considered “normal”.
Activities such as hay making, harvesting of crops, composting, demolition of mouldy buildings and mould remediation can result to very high concentrations of allergenic spores that would sensitize majority of people. Exposure to high concentrations of spores may lead to a type of allergy referred to as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This may be characterised by flu-like illness with cough; recurrent “pneumonia”; breathlessness and other respiratory problems.
Also, in closed environments such as indoors, mould spore concentrations can be very high particularly if the building is mouldy with poor ventilation. In indoor environment one may be exposed to toxigenic moulds such as Aspergillus spp, Penicillium spp, Fusarium spp, and Stachybotrys spp or less toxigenic but allergenic moulds such as Alternaria spp, Cladosporium spp, and Ulocladium spp.
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