Detection of Trichothecene Mycotoxins in Sera from Individuals Exposed to Stachybotrys chartarum in Indoor Environments

Trevor L. Brasel, Andrew W. Campbell, Roger E. Demers, Bruce S. Ferguson, Jordan Fink, Aristo Vojdani, Stephen C. Wilson, David C. Straus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


To date, no study has effectively demonstrated a direct human exposure to mycotoxins in mold-contaminated buildings. Therefore, the authors investigated the presence of trichothecene mycotoxins in sera from individuals exposed to indoor molds (specifically Stachybotrys chartarum). Sera from occupants of contaminated (test samples, n = 44) and uncontaminated (control samples, n = 26) buildings were analyzed using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) highly specific for macrocyclic trichothecenes. Twenty-three samples were significantly different (p < 0.05) from normal human serum tested in the same manner, whereas only 1 of the control samples tested positive. Mass spectrometry analysis could not confirm the presence of intact S. chartarum macrocyclic trichothecenes. The authors hypothesize that this result was caused by uncharacterized ELISA-reactive metabolic breakdown products. Data from this study suggest that trichothecene mycotoxins can be demonstrated in the tissues of certain individuals exposed to S. chartarum in contaminated buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental exposure
  • Mold
  • Mycotoxins
  • Serum
  • Stachybotrys chartarum>

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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