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Carpet Monsters and Killer SporesA Natural History of Toxic Mold$
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Nicholas P. Money

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172270

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172270.001.0001

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Mycological Warfare

Mycological Warfare

Chapter:
(p.58) 4 Mycological Warfare
Source:
Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores
Author(s):

Nicholas P. Money

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172270.003.0004

In addition to public health concerns about fungal spores as carriers of allergic proteins, some molds produce potent toxins called mycotoxins. Aflatoxins generated by species of Aspergillus are perhaps the best known of the mycotoxins. These can accumulate within peanuts, dairy products, and meat. The indoor mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, produces other mycotoxins, including macrocyclic trichothecenes, spirocyclic drimanes, triprenyl phenol metabolites, and stachylysin. This chapter describes the effects of these compounds on cultured cells and laboratory animals. Toxins produced by Stachybotrys were implicated in the deaths of millions of horses in Ukraine in the 1930s. It has also been suggested that trichothecenes and other mycotoxins have been deployed as biological warfare agents in Laos, Yemen, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Afghanistan, and most recently, in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

Keywords:   mycotoxins, aflatoxins, Aspergillus, macrocyclic trichothecenes, spirocyclic drimanes, triprenyl phenol metabolites, stachylysin

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