Mycotoxin Linked to Infant?s Death

Posted by DrDHooper on June 20th, 2017

A study into the possible cause behind a 68-day-old baby’s death casts light on the dangers mycotoxins and mold may pose for humans exposed to contaminated indoor environments. The baby’s home had suffered water damage that resulted in airborne fungi, bacteria and toxic bio-aerosols  in the indoor environment. Although the baby’s family history and genetics showedno red flags for Reye’s, the child’s death occurred with symptoms closely associated with this deadly condition.

To gain insight into the infant’s cause of death, Dr. Dennis Hooper and other medical investigators embarked on a study. The research was conducted to investigate if the cause of death was connected with the bacteria, fungi and other toxins present in the home. Researchers ultimately found the baby had aflatoxins in the liver, which indicate a casual role that this particular mycotoxin may have played in sparking the fatal illness.

Mycotoxins are toxic molecules produced by molds and fungi. When released into the environment, humans may become contaminated by this mold poison by breathing it in, ingesting it or having it absorb through the skin. Although commonly associated with “black mold,” harmful mycotoxins can be produced by many other mold species.

Researchers exploring the infant’s cause of death noted several mycotoxin varieties in the family’s home. In particular, the baby’s room tested positive for several species of fungi and bacteria. The child’s mother’s breast milk was also tested, along with her urine. Those samples came back positive for several mycotoxins, including aflatoxins.

Aflatoxins are produced by a spergillusflavus. This mycotoxin is considered the most toxic and potent hepatocarcinogenic natural compound ever characterized. The researchers exploring the infant’s death also concluded this mycotoxin sparked the Reye’s-like symptoms that ultimately claimed the child’s life.

Mold within an indoor environment can have serious implications on health, as the case study suggests. People who are concerned about possible exposure to mold or mycotoxins are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. Tests are available to determine if mycotoxin contamination is present in the body and the home.

About Author

Dr. Hooper is presently the Senior Member of RealTime Laboratories, (RTL) Inc. and Senior Medical Officer of Advatect Diagnostics, LLC, in Carrollton, Texas. The laboratory was established in 2004 and is devoted to the study and testing of mycotoxins.

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