home News Reason discovered for the toxicity of indoor mold? Not really.

Reason discovered for the toxicity of indoor mold? Not really.

Here’s a case of where an interesting piece of basic science, gets written up as a press release that reaches a bit too far, in particular using a headline like “Reason discovered for the toxicity of indoor mould”.   That headline is a big stretch from the original article title which was “20-Residue and 11-residue peptaibols from the fungus Trichoderma longibrachiatum are synergistic in forming Na+/K+-permeable channels and adverse action towards mammalian cells”.

Now obviously there’s some translation that’s needed when going from a detailed scientific paper to a press release.  But the “reason for the toxicity” of indoor mold is pretty big claim.  Especially considering it’s not even known what species of mold are actually toxic in the built environment, or even whether it’s just mold or other microbes that cause health problems in affected buildings.

So this group did some good work on the toxicity of T. longibrachiatum, which is a known opportunistic pathogen and is associated with sick building syndrome.   No need for the overreaching claims.



David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

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