A comprehensive investigation of the secondary metabolites produced by Chaetomium globosum, Wallemia sebi, Penicillium corylophilum and four Trichoderma species obtained from Canadian buildings is presented. Atopic and non-atopic individuals occupying damp, moldy buildings are at increased risk of both allergic and non-allergic adverse health effects. There is now strong toxicological evidence showing that secondary metabolites, including mold specific glucan, present on spores and mycelial fragments are in part responsible for these effects. At the low doses that could be experienced by the
human lung indoors, metabolites from fungi have been demonstrated to alter the expression of genes involved with asthma in vivo and in vitro. These genetic alterations are accompanied by histological disruptions and inflammatory responses.
The primary focus of this study was to identify and isolate the dominant toxins produced by the mentioned fungi obtained from Canadian buildings. Isolates were grown in liquid culture and screened for metabolite production. Metabolites were purified by various chromatographic methods and their structures were unambiguously determined by mass
spectrometry and detailed analysis of spectroscopic data.