Fungal Analysis

  • Analyze fungi from air, surface, and bulk samples.
  • Identify fungal spores by culture to a genus level. Common Aspergillus colonies are identified to species level. Counts for yeasts are also provided.
  • Fungal air direct exam (spore trap analysis) includes spore counts, spore identification to genus level or characterization of non-specified spore groups such as Basidiospores, Ascospores, etc., and a sample debris rating. 100% of the sample is analyzed unless spore counts must be estimated due to high levels of debris and/or spores.
  • Fungal surface direct exam (tape lift analysis) includes spore identification, detection quantity, and debris rating.



Fungal Air Culture Count & Identification

5-10 days

Fungal Air Culture Count Only

5-7 days


Fungal Surface Culture Count & Identification

5-10 days

Fungal Surface Count Only

5-7 days


Fungal Bulk-Solid Count & Identification

5-10 days

Fungal Bulk-Solid Count Only

5-7 days


Fungal Bulk-Liquid/Water Count & Identification

5-10 days

Fungal Bulk-Liquid/Water Count Only

5-7 days


Fungal Contact Plate Count & Identification

5-10 days

Fungal Contact Plate Count Only

5-7 days


Tape Lift: Spore ID, Detection Quantity & Debris Ratin

3-5 days


Fungal Bulk-Solid – Spore ID, Detection Quantity & Debris Rating

3-5 days

Summary of Major Indoor Fungi

Major indoor allergens:  CladosporiumAlternaria, and Ulocladium

Allergies are the most common effect of exposure to airborne fungal spores and can range from hay fever and asthma to specific reactions that are unique to the individual. Hay fever-like symptoms is the most common health condition attributed to mold in indoor environments.

In terms of numbers, the allergic reactions by far outnumber other types of fungal diseases. More than 80 different fungi have been associated with symptoms of respiratory tract allergies. In terms of allergic reactions, there is not a definitive list of “good” fungi and “bad” fungi, since virtually all fungal spores are likely to be allergenic in some individuals. In fact, the species that are the most common in outdoor air (such as Cladosporium, Alternaria, Penicillium, and Aspergillus) are some of the most common causes of allergic response.

Major indoor toxin producers: StachybotrysMemnoniella, TrichodermaAspergillusPenicilliumFusarium

Toxin effects can manifest themselves in a very wide variety of ways. Most research until now has been directed at effects that have to do with ingestion (such as by eating contaminated grain), and with little having been studied about inhaled effects. A host of severe health effects have been particularly attributed to inhalation of the Stachybotrys toxin. Similar toxins produced by other molds (Memnoniella and Trichoderma), are also of research interest for inhaled toxins.

The connection between exposure to airborne fungi and disease was first established in the late 1800’s. Since that time, it has been clearly demonstrated that the exposure to airborne fungal spores or hyphal fragments can cause a variety of respiratory diseases, including infections (e.g. aspergillosis), and allergic reactions (e.g. hay fever, asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis), as well as acute toxicosis and cancer from exposure to the metabolic products (e.g. mycotoxins). The toxigenic mold Stachybotrys has received considerable attention because of the recent association in Cleveland between exposure to this mold and 30 cases of pulmonary hemorrhage and hemosiderosis in young infants. Nine of the infants died (1). More recently, other health complaints, including permanent brain damage, have been associated with the exposure of older children and adults to Stachybotrys.

Major infectious indoor molds: AspergillusFusariumZygomycetes (includes Mucor and Rhizopus)

Infections are potentially the most dangerous and deadly of mold health effects, but mold in general has an inherently difficult time infecting an uncompromised immune system. Many molds won’t even grow at normal body temperature. While these infections are rare, infections in compromised individuals are much more common, with greater risk of complication and death due to the lack of treatment options. Compromised individuals include those (but not limited to) with an autoimmune disorder, certain cancers, the very old, the very young, and those undergoing certain drug therapies.

Other Notes

Certain molds, particularly Chaetomium and Arthrinium (and to a lesser degree Pithomyces, StemphyliumTorula, and Ulocladium), are important as warning markers. These molds can grow under the same conditions as Stachybotrys, and when they are detected in amplified quantities in the indoor air, it might be a sign that conditions exist that are ideal for Stachybotrys growth.

Large classes of molds that are reported such as “Ascospores” and “Smuts/Myxomycetes/Rusts” are generally used to indicate common “outdoor” or plant molds that current research indicates to have little effect on human health. “Basidiospores” are similar, but they are of more concern when observed indoors (due to more frequent allergenic properties and as an indicator of water damage and/or an overly humid environment.)

Fungal Analysis

Background Information

Because of the sporadic nature of these immune responses, there are no published standards of risk associated with the exposure to airborne fungi (i.e. threshold levels of mold spores). During the growing season, outdoor levels of mold spores routinely range from 1,000-10,000/m3. Indoor levels of molds should generally be less than one-third of the outdoor levels, where outdoor air is the only source, and should be qualitatively similar. The presence of any one specific microorganism exceeding 500/m3 can be indicative of a building-related source.

While the indoor environment should provide air that is cleaner than the outdoor air in terms of mold spores, occasionally buildings become breeding grounds for fungal growth. Depending on the amount and location of the fungal growth, the concentration of airborne fungal spores may become elevated well above outdoor levels, leading to the building occupants being exposed to hazardous levels of these spores. For example, molds growing on wall surfaces, ceiling tile, etc. may release spores into the air from the movement of the air due to human activity. Moisture is generally the limiting factor for mold growth in these situations, with little growth on surfaces if the relative humidity is less than 70%. Wet surfaces from roof leaks, broken pipes, condensation, or over-watered plants are also conditions that promote mold growth.



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