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Allergies

Old bread co-breeding ground for penicillium?

09/19/2008

Question:

I am working in a building that was constructed over an abandoned bread factory. They gutted the old structure, and put new panels and walls in the new building. The old ceiling and some inner walls are still part of the structure. There is every evidence that some old mold may remain between the new and old structures. I am extremely allergic to Penicillin, and have become quite sick in the building. Do you suppose there may be a connection between the old bread mold and my possible allergic reaction?

Answer:

It is unlikely that the patient is reacting to bread mold. Penicillium sp. mold, as found in the environment indoor and out, is not the mold that produces the precursor of penicillin. It is more likely that the patient is reacting to any one of a variety of environmental molds or other environmental antigens. I would suggest that the patient be evaluated by an allergist to determine if allergy to environmental molds plays a role in his symptoms.

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Response by:

Charity C Fox, MD Charity C Fox, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University