mould spores and asthma/anaphylaxis

For the last year or so I have been having progressively worse reactions to mould spores. I also have anaphylaxis to Quorn (apparently this is not surprising as they are related). Last weekend I had what I would describe as a 'mild' anaphylactic type reaction to mould spores at a friend's wedding which was in an old castle. Fortunately I was taking steroid tablets (dexamethysone sp?) at the time so it was milder than it might have been!

I was wondering whether anyone else has experienced anything similar and has any top tips on avoidance.

I have already seen a couple of allergy specialists over the years - one many years ago who suggested anabolic steroids- I didn't take them up on the offer! Now my asthma is much worse so presumably I am in more danger?? I am not due to see the chest consultant for another couple of months - should I speak to my GP? does anyone take anything specifically for preventing anaphylaxis.

Sorry for the long rambling post. Any advice welcome.

Thank you

8 Replies

  • Hello Bryony,

    I would ask to be tested for all the various mould and fungal spores to see which one you are allergic to. One of them is called Alternaria.

    Quorn is a Mycoprotein that is made from fungus, like mushrooms ( can you eat mushrooms?) but also has egg in it to bind it together (I can't eat quorn because I am anaphylactic to eggs)

    Fungus, mushrooms, toadstools, mould, slime moulds, Mildew, etc are all the same group of organisms - neither plant or animal. They all reproduce by spores which is the main allergen. (Mycology is the study of fungus)

    I assume you carry epipens, piriton in case of a reaction? Food wise, allergens are easier to avoid than environmental ones such as air born spores.

    I would speak to your GP regarding your reactions.

    May be your appointment could be bought forward too?

    You cannot take anything specifically to avoid anaphylaxis apart from sensible precautions. eg if eating out, avoiding certain foods etc.


  • Thanks for the reply and the advice.

    Fortunately I can eat mushrooms- though I am a always a bit cautious of them - do you finding that eating (particularly out) is less fun because of having anaphylaxis?

    I do always have my epipens with me- apparently they are bringing out new ones soon, which are double ended to save you having 2.

    The annoying thing with mould spores- is you can't see them and I have had reactions in places where there was no visible damp, or mould and I certainly didn't notice a smell.

  • Aspergillus fungus - The Aspergillus Trust


    Many asthmatics have severe reactions to fungus and the main culprit here is aspergillus fumigatus. There are a range of aspergillus diseases and a common one is ABPA, Allergic Broncho Pneumonary Aspergillosis, which I personally suffer from. I have severe reactions to mould.

    First read the article on this website.

    I can tell you that the results of this study are finished and may be published very soon, possibly by christmas.

    Very little, if any, testing is for aspergillus in asthmatics, research is still in its infancy and ignorance among the medical profession widespread. In my case I went undiagnosed for 51 years.

    The Aspergillus Trust is a UK charity aiming to support sufferers and their families as well as promote research. I am a trustee of that charity.

    The more we are investigating, the more we are finding that aspergillus fungus spores are proving to be a factor in a significant number of cases of severe asthma.

    I urge you to visit the Aspergillus Trust website where we have a number of web pages and downloadable leaflets for you to read.

    Best wishes, John

  • Link again

    Bryony, the link got messed up:

    Here it is again

  • Link again

    Damn, this forum really doesn't like long web addresses and splits the lines. Just enter aspergillus into the search box above. You will then find the page.

    Will also try pasting in an HTML link too.

    <a href="""">Click for the article</a>


  • My consultant mentioned aspergillus in passing last year as I had a persistent chest infection plus an x-ray showed 'fluffy clouds' but he said that a high IgE level can signify a persistent infection from aspergillus so may be worth getting your IgE checked for starters.

    Moulds - can't live with them and can't live without them! eg cheese, wine, beer, bread!

  • Thanks for all the information- I will read that website (after my dinner).

    I have now spoken to my GP and am being referred back to the allergy specialist- I hope the wait is not too long, but I think I am lucky as we have a really good dermatology department locally (Amersham).

    I had another more minor reaction at the swimming pool (the roof in the changing room has been leaking) on tues (luckily I always go with my mum who is a doctor!). Swimming is the only sport I can do at the moment so I am going to try another pool this weekend.

  • John -

    I found that article on this website and am I right in thinking that they are talking about people who have an asperigillus infection? which I don't have ( I was tested earlier this year). My problem is when I go into say a building and inhale mold spores which sets off an allergic reaction. I searched medline for anaphylaxis and mold spores and got absolutely nothing- proves I am special. I have another rare type of anaphylaxis so maybe I am espacially special!


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