Exposure to Stachybotrys Chartarum Induces Immunoglobulin a Antibody Response in Man

Päivi Raunio M.Sc, Anna Pasanen Prof., Tuula Husman M.D., Tuomas Virtanen M.D. University of Kuopio, e-mail: Paivi.Raunio@uku.fi

The levels of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) E, G and A antibodies against Stachybotrys chartarum were measured in patients with asthmatic or mycotoxicosis symptoms (n=6), their family members (n=10) and control subjects (n=18) with indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The Stachybotrys-specific IgG and IgA levels correlated with each other significantly (r=0.71, p<0.01) in the group of exposed subjects (patients and family members), but not in the control group. The IgA levels were significantly higher (p<0.01) and the IgG levels slightly higher (p<0.05) in the patient group than in the control group. IgE levels did not differ between the subject groups. The results of this study suggest that the exposure to Stachybotrys does not cause IgE-mediated allergy in humans. It is possible that the IgA response reflects better exposure to the fungus than the IgG response does.