Fungus Alternaria alternata – routes of infection, signs, symptoms and treatment methods

The content of the article



This pathogenic microorganism harms not only human health, but also agricultural products, affecting plants and animals. Spores of the fungus alternaria alternata, spreading in the ground and through the air, cause allergies, provoke the development of serious diseases and are difficult to treat. What conditions are favorable for the propagation of toxicogenic microorganisms, problems that arise during infection, methods of fighting the disease – information that will help to maintain health.

Alternaria alternata – what is it

On the walls of damp and poorly ventilated rooms – in bathrooms, basements – you can find black spots. This is the most common mold in nature alternaria alternata. His disputes reveal:

  • on vegetables, fruits;
  • in cereals;
  • on the surface of the soil;
  • in products – cheeses, yeast dough, sauerkraut;
  • in the soil of domestic flowers;
  • on the leaves of plants;
  • in drinks – wine, kefir, beer;
  • on open air;
  • on wooden window frames;
  • as part of house dust.

Toxicogenic fungi grow actively at a temperature of 18 to 32 degrees, some species are not afraid of the cold, at which they continue to multiply. Alternate microorganisms are dangerous to human health. Once in the body, mushrooms cause:

  • pathology of the respiratory system;
  • food allergies;
  • skin diseases;
  • poisoning by toxins produced by fungi;
  • respiratory diseases.

Taxonomic group

The fungus alternaria alternata is a mold that forms spores. Included in the taxonometric group of organisms – ascomycetes (marsupials) and fungi imperfecti (imperfect). A characteristic feature of this mushroom pool is:

  • the presence of a well-developed mycelium – a network of multicellular filaments;
  • reproduction asexually – by conidia – spores formed one at a time or in the form of chains.

Propagation of the fungus alternaria alternata

Appearance of a fungal colony

If viewed without a microscope, one can observe a dense velvety mass with aerial mycelium. The colony of the fungus has a gray, dark olive or green color – depending on the nutrient medium. With an increase you can see:

  • conidia segments with longitudinal and transverse septa;
  • disputes varying in color, shape;
  • conidia – single or combined into easily breaking chains;
  • difference in the thickness of the partitions, the number of cells in the spores.

Fungal colony

Habitats and distribution conditions

The fungus alternaria alternata is widespread in wildlife, food, warm rooms with high humidity. Active spore dispersal occurs in the fall, when strong winds blow dry rotten leaves in dry sunny weather. At home, the factors for the spread of the fungus are:

  • swallowing spores with food;
  • the entry of pathogenic microorganisms into the mucous membranes through the respiratory system.

Colonies of alternaria alternata can be found in the soil, on the seeds of cereal crops, and on the fruits of plants. The habitats of mold spores are:

  • carpeting;
  • textile products;
  • compost;
  • rotten wood;
  • silo pits;
  • woodworking enterprises;
  • nesting birds;
  • grain storage facilities;
  • damp basements;
  • dusty warehouses.

Mold fungus on wood

Pathogenic effects of alternaria alternata on the body

The spread of mold spores contributes to the development of serious diseases that are difficult to treat and have complications. Alternaria provokes asthma in a child. For adults, the fungus threatens the development of such pathologies as:

  • respiratory diseases;
  • fibrosis of lung tissue;
  • allergic alveolitis;
  • skin diseases;
  • exacerbation of pathologies of the respiratory system;
  • the appearance of allergic rashes;
  • the occurrence of a chronic runny nose;
  • poisoning by toxins produced by fungi;
  • sharp weight loss;
  • loss of appetite;
  • bouts of fever.

Respiratory disease

An allergic reaction to mold exposure develops instantly. It is accompanied by the appearance of unpleasant symptoms. The disease is similar to a cold, but there is no fever and headache. With respiratory allergies, the following are observed:

  • wheezing in the lungs;
  • tearing;
  • burning eyes;
  • mucosal irritation;
  • nasal congestion;
  • cough;
  • frequent sneezing
  • severe runny nose;
  • respiratory failure;
  • swelling of the throat, eyelids;
  • hives;
  • suffocation;
  • conjunctivitis;
  • redness of the skin;
  • itching.

Allergic rhinitis

The development of this disease is a frequent consequence of fungal infections. Allergic rhinitis often has a hereditary character – a child has a high chance of developing an ailment if his parents are ill. Symptoms of the disease are:

  • chronic runny nose;
  • paroxysmal sneezing;
  • itchy nose;
  • problems breathing through the nose due to constant congestion;
  • swelling of the face;
  • redness of the eyes;
  • breathing through the mouth;
  • tearing;
  • dark circles under the eyes;
  • dyspnea;
  • palm rubbing the tip of the nose.

Runny nose in a girl

Bronchial asthma

Fungi of the species alternaria belong to strong allergens that provoke the development of exogenous forms of asthma. High sensitivity to molds can be fatal. With an ailment, a strong cough, suffocation occurs. The following are predisposed to asthma disease:

  • children;
  • young people;
  • specialists working where the concentration of spores of microorganisms in the premises exceeds the norm;
  • professionals whose activities are related to agriculture;
  • foresters;
  • farmers caring for animals;
  • gardeners working in summer cottages.

Healthy bronchi, with asthma and during an attack

Atopic dermatitis

Often, fungi provoke the development of skin pathology – atopic dermatitis. Symptoms of the disease depend on the stage of development. In a patient infected with a fungal infection, the following are observed:

  • in the acute course of the process – the appearance of red spots, the formation of rashes, swelling, peeling of the skin and the appearance of erosion sites;
  • in the case of the chronic stage – thickening of the skin, the formation of cracks in the palms of the hands, soles, the appearance of scratches, severe pigmentation of the skin on the eyelids, puffiness.

Rashes on the skin of a man

Exogenous Allergic Alveolitis

With this disease, the inflammatory process occurs in the alveoli, often affecting both lungs at once. Due to hypersensitivity to fungal allergens, painful symptoms appear. The patient has:

  • oxygen starvation;
  • problems of the cardiovascular system;
  • state of weakness;
  • excessive sweating;
  • chills;
  • bouts of severe coughing;
  • sputum removal;
  • the occurrence of shortness of breath;
  • the appearance of headaches;
  • development of a feeling of heaviness in the chest;
  • temperature increase;
  • the formation of pain in the joints, muscles.

Exogenous Allergic Alveolitis

Fungal allergens

Doctors in the analysis reveal allergic sensitization – hypersensitivity to certain forms of mold. There are more than 20 types of allergens. The most common ones are:

  • alternaria alternata – are ubiquitous, are detected in patients with bronchopulmonary diseases;
  • aspergillus fumigatus – found in granaries, cause asthma;
  • cladosporium herbarum – found outdoors, on plants, activated from spring to autumn;
  • henicillium chrysogenum – detected in warehouses, affecting products with mold spores.

Fungal allergen aspergillus fumigatus

How to identify Alternaria Alternata fungus

A variety of methods are used to detect the presence of a fungus. They depend on the conditions in which the study is needed. Specialists use:

  • for premises – air sampling with special devices, enzyme immunoassay of dust;
  • in agriculture – the use of the polymerase chain reaction method;
  • for patients – blood test diagnostics, the use of tests, allergic studies.

Air sampling

There are special devices for air sampling in infected rooms, determining the presence of fungus. They differ in principle of action. Distribution have:

  • Andersen’s sampler collects particles on the filter. It is placed in a petri dish for growing spores.
  • Bulcard traps, where air passes through the device, and particles settle on the drum for a week. The number of spores in one cubic meter is determined.
  • Krotov’s device passes air, which is sent to the nutrient medium, the colony.

Krotov's device for air analysis

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for house dust samples

This new technique has not yet found wide distribution. The enzyme immunoassay process consists of two components. When it occurs:

  • an immune reaction in which the binding of biological molecules of mold cells from dust is observed;
  • enzymatic process that helps to see and measure the results of the analysis.

Polymerase chain reaction for agricultural needs

An important task of agriculture is the preservation of grain, vegetable products and animals from mold infection. The polymerase chain reaction method helps to identify spores and to conduct a timely fight against infection. The essence of the molecular biology method is to create a DNA fragment from the studied material, which has an increased concentration of spores of the pathogen. This helps to quickly and accurately identify bacteria..

Diagnosis of fungal allergies

If allergic signs appear – coughing, choking, sneezing, you should consult an allergist. It will help to diagnose correctly. There are several informative ways to detect allergies and individual intolerance to molds. These include:

  • provocative allergen test – applying spores to the skin;
  • a blood test to detect the presence of protein, altered antibodies – specific Ige;
  • allergic skin test – the allergen is administered subcutaneously, a reaction is observed;
  • microscopic specific examination of sputum for pathology.

Allergic skin test

Methods for controlling fungus at home

To cope with the spread of fungi of the genus alternaria at home, it is necessary to eliminate sources of moisture. Mold microorganisms will not appear in a room where there is no dust. To combat alternaria alternata fungus, you must:

  • repair sewers, taps to eliminate leakage;
  • treat affected surfaces with antifungal agents;
  • remove indoor plants from the house;
  • do not eat mold foods;
  • make ventilation in the bathroom, basement;
  • to install a warm floor;
  • regularly clean;
  • do not dry clothes in living rooms.

Antifungal treatment of infected surfaces

There are special fungicidal drugs that help fight molds and inhibit their development. Before processing, you must first clean the affected surfaces. In this case, it is important to observe safety precautions so as not to get infected. For antifungal treatment use:

  • deep penetration preparations for brick, concrete;
  • strengthening primer for painting;
  • means for processing tiles;
  • universal compounds for all types of surfaces;
  • folk remedies for mold.

Antifungal treatment of infected surfaces

Improving the ventilation system

So that the fungus alternaria alternata does not spread in the apartment or house, it is necessary to exclude the appearance of moisture. A properly organized ventilation system will help solve this problem. To maintain the required humidity level it is necessary:

  • organize supply and exhaust ventilation in a country house;
  • install an air conditioner that supplies cold and warm air;
  • to put windows with ventilation that excludes the formation of condensate;
  • use dehumidifiers.

Improving the ventilation system in the room

Avoiding carpet flooring

Health hazards can be caused by carpeting. They become a source of the spread of infection provoked by fungi alternaria alternata. If the house has a patient who has an allergic reaction to mold, floor carpets must be removed. The fungus multiplies:

  • in dust, which is difficult to completely clean from the fibers of the carpet;
  • on the surface of the coating, if it is on the floor in the shower or bathroom.

Regular cleaning and ventilation

The source of spread of fungi is house dust, old books. A favorable environment for the appearance of an increased concentration of spores in the premises is high humidity. To exclude the appearance of allergic reactions to toxicogenic fungi, it is necessary:

  • regularly clean the premises;
  • prevent dust accumulation;
  • organize forced ventilation of the bathroom, kitchen;
  • maintain in the basement humidity no more than 50%.

Wet cleaning

Refusal of houseplants

If a person lives in the house who has an allergic reaction to molds of alternaria alternata, it is necessary to abandon the breeding of indoor plants. This will help to avoid problems such as bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, especially in a child sensitive to fungal protein. Domestic flowers are a favorable environment for their habitat and reproduction. The colony of the fungus grows rapidly:

  • on the soil with strong moisture;
  • on the surface of plant leaves.

Mold no soil of indoor plants

How to treat fungus alternaria alternata m6

If there are signs of damage to the fungus alternaria alternata, you must consult an allergist, mycologist. They will help to conduct the correct diagnosis and will write an individual treatment regimen. When a mold allergy is diagnosed, it is prescribed:

  • antihistamines that relieve allergy symptoms with a calming effect – Suprastin, Loratadin;
  • anti-inflammatory, reducing edema – Allergodil.

Suprastin tablets per pack

To alleviate the condition of the patient when there is an allergy to the alternaria fungus, doctors recommend:

  • Nazolval spray – protects against the penetration of allergens;
  • Advantan hormone ointment for serious problems;
  • Avamis spray – creates a barrier against the ingestion of mold fungi;
  • vasoconstrictor, antipruritic – Elok cream.

Cream Elokom in packaging

Autolymphocytotherapy against an allergic reaction

Diseases caused by alternaria fungus are difficult to cure. An exception is the modern method – autolymphocytotherapy. The technique is suitable for the treatment of adults and children. Remission is up to five years. The drug is prepared individually for each patient. For treatment, the patient’s immune cells are used to:

  • increase resilience;
  • mold susceptibility.

The technique of autolymphocytotherapy is very similar to vaccination. During its implementation:

  • venous blood is taken from a patient in a laboratory;
  • lymphocytes are isolated from it, which contain information about all allergens that enter the body;
  • add saline;
  • injected subcutaneously into the shoulder from the side;
  • the dosage is determined by the doctor depending on the condition of the patient;
  • perform from six to eight procedures with an interval of 2-6 days.

The doctor makes an injection in the forearm of the girl

Rate article
Tips on any topic from experts
Add comment

By clicking the "Submit comment" button, I consent to the processing of personal data and accept privacy policy