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Special Issue "Mycotoxins and Human Diseases"

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A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David C. Straus (Website)

Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology, Texas Tech University, Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79430, USA
Fax: +1 806 743 2334
Interests: mycotoxins; the microbiology of indoor air

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mycotoxins are produced as a consequence of fungal metabolism. While the fungi represent a very large population of organisms, most important mycotoxins are produced by a subpopulation of fungi commonly known as molds. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites in that the organisms that produce them do not need to produce them to survive. Indeed, it is not known why molds produce mycotoxins, but we do know that the production of mycotoxins has important consequences for man and his animals. The ingestion of certain mycotoxins (e.g., aflatoxins) can be an important cause of liver cancer in humans. Also, the ingestion of certain mycotoxins (e.g., trichothecene mycotoxins like the satratoxins of Stachybotrys chartarum) can be important causes of poisonings in horses when they ingest hay on which the above mentioned organism has grown. In addition, the trichothecene mycotoxins of Stachybotrys chartarum have recently been shown to be in the air of water damaged buildings (WDB) infested with this organism, where they can be inhaled. These toxins have actually been shown to be in the bodies of people inhabiting these buildings. These trichothecene mycotoxins are highly toxic, having been designated as “biological warfare weapons” by no less an authority than the Office of the Surgeon General and the United States Army. Therefore, it is no surprise that the presence of these toxins in the indoor environment is considered to be highly problematic. The consequences of exposure to these mycotoxins in WDB are a topic of great debate in the phenomenon known as “Sick Building Syndrome”. In this special issue devoted to mycotoxins, hopefully some of the questions regarding these important toxins will be answered.

Prof. Dr. David C. Straus
Guest Editor


Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • mycotoxins
  • molds
  • aflatoxins
  • satratoxins
  • Stachybotrys chartarum
  • water damaged buildings
  • sick building syndrome

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Detection of Mycotoxins in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Toxins 2013, 5(4), 605-617; doi:10.3390/toxins5040605
Received: 18 March 2013 / Revised: 1 April 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (63 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the past 20 years, exposure to mycotoxin producing mold has been recognized as a significant health risk. Scientific literature has demonstrated mycotoxins as possible causes of human disease in water-damaged buildings (WDB). This study was conducted to determine if selected mycotoxins [...] Read more.
Over the past 20 years, exposure to mycotoxin producing mold has been recognized as a significant health risk. Scientific literature has demonstrated mycotoxins as possible causes of human disease in water-damaged buildings (WDB). This study was conducted to determine if selected mycotoxins could be identified in human urine from patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Patients (n = 112) with a prior diagnosis of CFS were evaluated for mold exposure and the presence of mycotoxins in their urine. Urine was tested for aflatoxins (AT), ochratoxin A (OTA) and macrocyclic trichothecenes (MT) using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). Urine specimens from 104 of 112 patients (93%) were positive for at least one mycotoxin (one in the equivocal range). Almost 30% of the cases had more than one mycotoxin present. OTA was the most prevalent mycotoxin detected (83%) with MT as the next most common (44%). Exposure histories indicated current and/or past exposure to WDB in over 90% of cases. Environmental testing was performed in the WDB from a subset of these patients. This testing revealed the presence of potentially mycotoxin producing mold species and mycotoxins in the environment of the WDB. Prior testing in a healthy control population with no history of exposure to a WDB or moldy environment (n = 55) by the same laboratory, utilizing the same methods, revealed no positive cases at the limits of detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins and Human Diseases)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Deficient Glutathione in the Pathophysiology of Mycotoxin-Related Illness
Toxins 2014, 6(2), 608-623; doi:10.3390/toxins6020608
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evidence for the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of mycotoxin-related illness is increasing. The glutathione antioxidant and detoxification systems play a major role in the antioxidant function of cells. Exposure to mycotoxins in humans requires the production of glutathione on [...] Read more.
Evidence for the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of mycotoxin-related illness is increasing. The glutathione antioxidant and detoxification systems play a major role in the antioxidant function of cells. Exposure to mycotoxins in humans requires the production of glutathione on an “as needed” basis. Research suggests that mycotoxins can decrease the formation of glutathione due to decreased gene expression of the enzymes needed to form glutathione. Mycotoxin-related compromise of glutathione production can result in an excess of oxidative stress that leads to tissue damage and systemic illness. The review discusses the mechanisms by which mycotoxin-related deficiency of glutathione may lead to both acute and chronic illnesses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins and Human Diseases)

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