|Mucor Fungus Mucor is an organism which spreads in spore form like mold|
|Editor's note: When I read this one it was a kick in the rear end about the importance of not letting mold get out of control in the bathroom.|
Contributed By AerolabsMucor is a rapidly growing fungus that is usually dark gray or light olive gray when grown on typical laboratory media. One colony can easily cover a 15x100mm petri dish in four days. It is easily recognizable microscopically by its tall (up to 2 cm) needle like sporangiophores and large sporangium. Mucor, together with Rhizopus, is one of the most quickly invading organisms able to contaminate many kinds of stored food products. Mucor has world-wide distribution and is often found in hay, stored seeds, horse manure and house dust, regardless of geographical location. It is also frequently found in air samples from indoor environments. Accumulated dust in HVAC systems and poorly maintained carpeting may contain high concentrations of Mucor spores. One study of the most frequent molds found in house dust in samples of homes found Mucor in 98% of the samples from homes in Denmark and 31% of the samples in homes in Canada. Heavy exposure to the spores of Mucor can cause extrinsic allergic alveolitis, a type 3 (IgG) allergic response. It is generally associated with occupational exposure to wood chips and sawdust. The symptoms, which occur 6-8 hours after exposure include: elevated temperature, flu-like symptoms, general malaise, difficulty breathing and later asthma. Eliminating exposure before the onset of pulmonary fibrosis usually leads to a return to a normal, healthy state. Mucor is also a rare opportunistic pathogen, attacking individuals with significantly compromised immune systems, metabolic acidosis, uncontrolled diabetes, starvation, severe trauma or other forms of debilitation.