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Volume 4, Pages 167-177
Research Article

Mycotoxins and Antifungal Drug Interactions: Implications in the Treatment of Illnesses Due to Indoor Chronic Toxigenic Mold Exposures

1Cahers Neurosciences Research, Inc., 8787 Shenandoah Park Drive, Suite 122, Conroe, TX 77385, USA
2Medical Center for Immune, Environmental, and Toxic Disorders, Spring, TX, USA
3Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Ryals Public Health Building, 1665 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA

Received 29 December 2003; Revised 23 February 2004; Accepted 23 February 2004

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2004 Ebere C. Anyanwu et al.


Chronic exposure to toxigenic molds in water-damaged buildings is an indoor environmental health problem to which escalating health and property insurance costs are raising a statewide concern in recent times. This paper reviews the structural and functional properties of mycotoxins produced by toxigenic molds and their interactive health implications with antifungal drugs. Fundamental bases of pathophysiological, neurodevelopmental, and cellular mechanisms of mycotoxic effects are evaluated. It is most likely that the interactions of mycotoxins with antifungal drugs may, at least in part, contribute to the observable persistent illnesses, antifungal drug resistance, and allergic reactions in patients exposed to chronic toxigenic molds. Safe dose level of mycotoxin in humans is not clear. Hence, the safety regulations in place at the moment remain inconclusive, precautionary, and arbitrary. Since some of the antifungal drugs are derived from molds, and since they have structural and functional groups similar to those of mycotoxins, the knowledge of their interactions are important in enhancing preventive measures.