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Toxins 2013, 5(4), 605-617; doi:10.3390/toxins5040605
Article

Detection of Mycotoxins in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

1,* , 2
,
3
,
4
 and
5
1 Plaza Infectious Disease and St. Luke's Hospital, 4320 Wornall Road, Suite 440, Kansas City, MO 64111, USA 2 Citrus Heights, CA 95610, USA 3 Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA 4 California State University, Northridge, CA 91330, USA 5 RealTime Laboratories, Carrollton, TX 75010, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 March 2013 / Revised: 1 April 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins and Human Diseases)
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Abstract

Over the past 20 years, exposure to mycotoxin producing mold has been recognized as a significant health risk. Scientific literature has demonstrated mycotoxins as possible causes of human disease in water-damaged buildings (WDB). This study was conducted to determine if selected mycotoxins could be identified in human urine from patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Patients (n = 112) with a prior diagnosis of CFS were evaluated for mold exposure and the presence of mycotoxins in their urine. Urine was tested for aflatoxins (AT), ochratoxin A (OTA) and macrocyclic trichothecenes (MT) using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA). Urine specimens from 104 of 112 patients (93%) were positive for at least one mycotoxin (one in the equivocal range). Almost 30% of the cases had more than one mycotoxin present. OTA was the most prevalent mycotoxin detected (83%) with MT as the next most common (44%). Exposure histories indicated current and/or past exposure to WDB in over 90% of cases. Environmental testing was performed in the WDB from a subset of these patients. This testing revealed the presence of potentially mycotoxin producing mold species and mycotoxins in the environment of the WDB. Prior testing in a healthy control population with no history of exposure to a WDB or moldy environment (n = 55) by the same laboratory, utilizing the same methods, revealed no positive cases at the limits of detection.
Keywords: mycotoxin; mold exposure; chronic fatigue syndrome; Stachybotrys mycotoxin; mold exposure; chronic fatigue syndrome; Stachybotrys
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Brewer, J.H.; Thrasher, J.D.; Straus, D.C.; Madison, R.A.; Hooper, D. Detection of Mycotoxins in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Toxins 2013, 5, 605-617.

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