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Trichothecenes: A Guide to These Potent Toxins

Trichothecenes are a class of toxins produced by certain fungi that can cause serious illness in humans and animals. There are many different types of trichothecenes, and they are classified into two main groups: type A and type B.

Type A Trichothecenes

Type A trichothecenes are the more toxic and potent of the two types. They are produced by fungi in the genera Fusarium and Myrothecium, and include toxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV). These toxins can cause a range of symptoms in humans, including vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritation. They are also toxic to animals and can cause immune suppression, reproductive failure, and death.

Type B Trichothecenes

Type B trichothecenes are produced by fungi in the genera Trichoderma and Stachybotrys, and include toxins such as roridin E and verrucarin. These toxins are less toxic than type A trichothecenes, but can still cause illness in humans and animals. Symptoms of type B trichothecene poisoning can include skin irritation, respiratory problems, and neurological symptoms.

Sources of Trichothecenes

Trichothecenes can be found in a variety of sources, including grains, feed, and straw. They can also be found in certain types of building materials, such as drywall, if the materials have been contaminated by fungi. It is important to take precautions to prevent exposure to these toxins, as they can be harmful to both humans and animals.

If you think you may have been exposed to trichothecenes, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. You can also contact Balanced Building Biology and hire a Building Biologist to conduct a Mould and Moisture Assessment to determine the mould spore concentration and identify any potential mould growth. Symptoms of trichothecene poisoning can range from mild to severe, and can be serious if left untreated. If you have any questions or concerns about trichothecenes, be sure to consult a healthcare professional for more information.

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