Similar to Aspergillus niger in many ways, Aspergillus carbonarius is most commonly associated with its ability to produce the mycotoxin ochratoxin (OTA), a possible carcinogen and highly harmful substance.
The main difference between A. carbonarius and A. niger is that A.carbonarius produces larger spores. Recently, A. carbonarius, A. niger and other similar molds were identified as a main possible source of OTA in grapes from various parts of South America, Europe and Australia.
Find out if you have A. carbonarius growing in your home or office, or learn about various other Aspergillus molds, by contacting Mold Busters and asking about our comprehensive mold testing and remediation services.
What is Aspergillus Carbonarius?
What exactly is Aspergillus Carbonarius and why is it evincing so much interest and perhaps even fear and revulsion? Let us try and find out answers for the same over the next few lines.
This is basically a fungal species and it was first described by Georges Bainier. It belongs to the genus Aspergillus and it is from the Trichomacaceae family. However, there are no sub species of this fungus as evident from the Catalog of life.
It has some medicinal properties but at the same time, there are reasons to believe that it could be the reason for various health problems. Therefore it would be interesting to know more about the source of Aspergillus Carbonarius and the safety precautions and probable dangers associated with this fungus.
Where can Aspergillus Carbonarius be found?
It would be pertinent to mention that this fungus is freely and abundantly found in the air, soil, plant litters, dried fruits, nuts and other sources. It is ubiquitous in nature and therefore if you look around it would not be much of a problem identifying it.
As far as foods are concerned, it is one of the most commonly found fungal substances. Therefore if you are keen on avoiding the negative impact of this microorganism, you must know that it can be found easily around you and therefore the chances of getting contaminated is quite high at any given points of time.
What is Aspergillus Carbonarius mold?
As mentioned above Aspergillus Carbonarius mold is a fungal substance and it belongs to the Pencillium genera and Aspergillus family. It is one of the most common fungal molds which has a number of properties and is known to produce a substance called OTA which could attack quite a few post-harvest fruits.
This could also include TGF and the infection could happen during transportation and storage. Since the mold grows almost in all places and can withstand various types of temperatures, care and caution should be taken to look for the first signs of growth of this fungus.
If the growth has been found out, necessary steps should be immediately taken to arrest its growth and prevent further spread. It also is notorious for its rapid spread of spores and therefore it can be contacted without physical touch.
Is Aspergillus Carbonarius mold dangerous?
It would be pertinent to mention here that this fungus is classified under the category mycotoxins. These are capable of causing harm to the body and in some extreme cases death and permanent disablement cannot also be ruled out.
They are secondly metabolites and they have very aggressive pharmacological activity. Depending on the level of exposure to the fungus, the risk levels also stand increased quite substantially. The toxic substances released by the mold could lead to kidney malfunction and when it becomes a continuous affair it could lead to serious kidney damage and sometimes the damage could become irreversible.
Hence it is important for the general public to understand this and exercise care and caution. While the growth and presence of Aspergillus Carbonarius cannot be fully stopped, we must find out ways and means by which the potential risks are reduced.
Where can you find Aspergillus Carbonarius mold in house?
- Since this is a fungus, it is quite normal for it to grow in home environments. Hence, if you have damp homes and walls, you are most likely to see some growth of the mold.
- Further it also would find good avenues to grow if you have improperly cleaned and handled vegetables coming inside your home. You should pay special attention to your bathrooms, toilets, kitchen and other wet places which are considered to be perfect breeding grounds for this fungus mold.
- It could also be found in attics, basements, garages and backyards which are not regularly used.
- You have to be extra careful during the monsoons and winter seasons because these are the occasions where there could be a proliferation in the growth of these fungal molds in various corners of the house. Once they start entrenching themselves, they grow and multiply rapidly and therefore controlling their spread beyond a point could be quite tough.
Hiring professional mold removers like Mold Busters is a must because DIY ways and means may not work always.
Aspergillus Carbonarius on grape and how to avoid fungal attacks?
While Aspergillus carbonnarius could damage various types of fruits and vegetables, it has been found that they are capable of causing quite a bit of damage to grapes. They are considered to be the main fungal contaminants of table grapes.
They could lead to black rot and additionally they also could produce a substance called OTA or Ochratoxin A. This basically is a mycotoxin which is now catching quite a bit of attention worldwide.
Hence there is a need for early detection of attacks by this fungus on grapes and take preventive and proactive steps. The best way to avoid fungal attack on grapes would be to clean the harvest thoroughly with fresh water and ensure that the storing and transportation is done scientifically.
These fungal molds love wet and damp environment and therefore storing grapes in dry and lukewarm environment could be quite helpful.
What are Aspergillus Carbonarius mold health effects?
Like most fungal molds, there is no denying the fact that Aspergillus Carbornarius has quite a few negative health effects. While it could vary from person to person depending on the level and intensity of contamination, there are some tell-tale signs and symptoms which could point to a risk of fungal contamination.
- These could include respiratory problems including cough that is chronic and unabated for weeks and months.
- Many people also complain of continuous sneezing and irritation and burning sensation in the eyes.
- Rashes also have been reported in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
- In some serious cases, many also have reported of chronic fatigue and headaches that are continuous and persistent in nature.
All these could point to mold poisoning caused by the above fungus. Hence, it is vital that the same is addressed immediately to prevent further spread and damage.
How to fight and remove Aspergillus Carbonarius?
While the ill effects of this fungus is there for all to see, the onus lies on us to find out ways and means by which it is removed from the surroundings.
While conventional methods of soil treatment and giving importance to dry surroundings are still important, there are other modern methods too. Laser treatment of the impacted areas such as walls of the bathrooms, kitchens, attics and other such places is considered effective provided it is done under the right supervision.
Proper washing of fruits and vegetables that are ready for cultivation is also important. The fruits and vegetables must be stored in a dry and reasonably warm environment which could prevent growth of this fungus.
Finally getting in touch with professional mold removal companies like Mold Busters is the best way to get rid of Aspergillus Carbonarius.