Research Finds Illinois Mold Nearly the Toughest of Them All

Research Finds Illinois Mold Nearly the Toughest of Them All

  • Posted: Sep 09, 2015
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Aspergillus is a type of ascospore (cylindrical-shaped fungal spore) commonly found growing in homes. It is a known allergen that can also cause infection. New collaborative research by CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Wageningen University, Hamilton College, Davidson College, Queens University Belfast, and Utrecht University has revealed aspergillus as one of the most stress-resistant types of mold.

According to the peer-reviewed article in the 2014 issue of Environmental Microbiology (Society for Applied Microbiology), aspergillus resists high temperatures, pressure, and moisture evaporation. These qualities make it one of the most stress-resistant types of mold.

Aspergillus can withstand temperatures up to 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than an hour and a half. This resistance means that pasteurization cannot kill aspergillus spores in or on food products – leading your foods to spoil. It also increases the chances for the mold spores to germinate and spread throughout other areas of your home.

Increasingly, aspergillus is becoming a leading type of Illinois mold requiring remediation and removal. It negatively affects both people who suffer mold allergies and those who do not. In some cases, this strain of Illinois mold can cause mycobacterial infections.

The attribute that makes aspergillus so stress-resistant is the trehalose-based oligosaccharide found in each ascospore. They accumulate trehalose sugars in high levels, which means the more aspergillus you have growing in your home, the harder it is to get rid of. It can’t be destroyed with heat or dehumidification – making aspergillus one of the most difficult molds to remediate. Fungi with oligosaccharides that are not trehalose based are much easier to eliminate from your home.

Elimination is almost impossible without completely destroying and rebuilding whatever the aspergillus has affected. Prevention, similarly, is almost impossible. But you can take steps to prevent aspergillus from getting you sick. Dusting, maintaining air conditioning, and staying away from compost piles. This strain of Illinois mold is no joke, and research proves that prevention and remediation are nearly impossible. If you think there’s mold in your home, it’s important to schedule a mold inspection so you know exactly what type of mold you’re dealing with – and hope it’s not aspergillus.