Stachybotrys chartarum

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Stachybotrys chartarum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales
Family: Stachybotryaceae
Genus: Stachybotrys
Species: S. chartarum
Binomial name
Stachybotrys chartarum
(Ehrenb.) S. Hughes

Stachybotrys atra Corda Stachybotrys alternans Bonord. Stilbospora chartarum Ehrenb.

Stachybotrys chartarum, also called Stachybotrys atra, Stachybotrys alternans or Stilbospora chartarum, is a black mold that produces its conidia in slime heads. S. chartarum is known as black mold or toxic black mold in the U.S. It is sometimes found in soil and grain, but the mold is most often detected in cellulose-rich building materials from damp or water-damaged buildings.[1] S. chartarum was originally discovered on the wall of a house in Prague in 1837 by Czech mycologist August Carl Joseph Corda. It requires very high moisture content in order to grow and is associated with wet gypsum material and wallpaper.[2]

Medical and veterinary issues[edit]

Health problems related to this mold have been documented in humans and animals since the 1930s;[3] it is also considered a likely candidate for the Biblical condition mistranslated as "leprosy", tzaraath.[4] More recently, S. chartarum has been linked with so-called sick building syndrome. However, the link has not been firmly established in the scientific literature.[5]

There are two chemotypes in S. chartarum, one that produces trichothecene mycotoxins including satratoxins and one that produces atranones.[6]

Two cats died under anesthesia in what is believed to be the first documented case of black mold poisoning in pets. The cats had been living in Florida in a water damaged home. During routine dental procedures both cats experienced severe pulmonary hemorrhage and later died. Blood tests confirmed the presence of a toxin produced by S. chartarum, and severe mold contamination was found in the home.[7]


Four distinctive microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), 1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-2-butanol, and thujopsene, were detected on rice cultures, and only one (1-butanol) was detected on gypsum board cultures.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Samson RA, Houbraken J, Thrane U, Frisvad JC & Andersen B. (2010). Food and Indoor Fungi. CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Utrecht, the Netherlands. pp. 1-398.
  2. ^ Andersen B, Frisvad JC, Søndergaard I, Rasmussen IS & Larsen LS (June 2011). "Associations between fungal species and water damaged building materials". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77 (12): 4180–8. doi:10.1128/AEM.02513-10. PMC 3131638. PMID 21531835.
  3. ^ Etzel RA, Montaña E, Sorenson WG, Kullman GJ, Allan TM, Dearborn DG, Olson DR, Jarvis BB, Miller JD (August 1998). "Acute pulmonary hemorrhage in infants associated with exposure to Stachybotrys atra and other fungi". Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 152 (8): 757–62. doi:10.1001/archpedi.152.8.757. PMID 9701134.
  4. ^ Heller RM, Heller TW, Sasson JM (2003). "Mold: "tsara'at," Leviticus, and the history of a confusion". Perspect. Biol. Med. 46 (4): 588–91. doi:10.1353/pbm.2003.0085. PMID 14593226.
  5. ^ Page, E. H.; Trout, D. B. (2001). "The Role ofStachybotrysMycotoxins in Building-Related Illness". AIHAJ - American Industrial Hygiene Association. 62 (5): 644. doi:10.1080/15298660108984664.
  6. ^ Andersen B, Nielsen KF, Thrane U, Szaro, T, Taylor, JW & Jarvis, BB (2003). "Molecular and phenotypic descriptions of Stachybotrys chlorohalonata sp. nov. And two chemotypes of stachybotrys chartarum found in water-damaged buildings" (PDF). Mycologia. The Mycological Society of America. 95 (6): 1227–1238. doi:10.1080/15572536.2004.11833031.
  7. ^ "Toxic mold may pose threat to pets". Veterinary Forum. Veterinary Learning Systems. 24 (10): 17. October 2007.
  8. ^ Gao P, Martin J (Jun 2002). "Volatile metabolites produced by three strains of Stachybotrys chartarum cultivated on rice and gypsum board". Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 17 (6): 430–6.

External links[edit]