Mould – hidden beneath the tip of the “allergy” iceberg

Bettina Decher, Naturopath, Frankfurt, Germany

Part I

General information about moulds, their occurrence in nature and in human and animal habitation.
Moulds as inhaled and ingested allergens
Significance of moulds and their enzymes in industry

1. Moulds – definition and classification in the fungi system
As regards moulds, the definition still applies as given by Delitzsch (1943, and quoted by Roth, Fran and Kormann in 1990). According to this, moulds must have the following characteristics:
-  Their habitat is the soil or concentrated nutrient solutions (there are no specific aquatic fungi as such).
-  They can live as saphrophytes i.e. they obtain their nutrients from dead organic substances which they break down.
-  They form a typical mycelium. In this respect they are different from yeasts, which form loose cell groups but no real mycelial component.
-  They mainly multiply through asexual spores (sporangiospores or conidia).
-  If they form any reproductive or...

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