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FUNGAL PNEUMONIA

FUNGAL PNEUMONIA
and Pancytopenia, Marijuana Usage

Molds and Mycotoxins in Autopsy Specimens in a Death Related to Fungal Pneumonia and Pancytopenia, Marijuana Usage and a Water-Damaged Home: A Case Report

Abstract

A 31 year old male was exposed to high levels of mold spores (up to 29,000 spores/m3) in a newly constructed home in October 2000. Upon moving in he began to have multiple health complaints, developed pancytopenia and died from respiratory failure and cardiac arrest four years later. He used marijuana for 15 years prior to his death. No other personal or health issues were present. 

Realtime PCR DNA tests on tissue samples obtained at autopsy identified Aspergillus flavus and niger in the liver, Penicillium fellutanum and A. niger in the lungs, and A. niger in the brain. Other mold DNA detected in lesser concentrations included Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus versicolor, sydowii, and Eurotium (formerly Aspergillus) amstelodami. Trichothecenes (2.5-3.25 ppb) and aflatoxins (6.0 ppb) were detected in the lungs and liver, while the brain was positive for trichothecenes (2.05 ppb), aflatoxins (5.5 ppb) and ochratoxins (170 ppb). 

The data and observations are discussed with respect to marijuana use and exposure to mold in damp-indoor spaces. 

Because the man was well before moving into the home, then became very ill and eventually expired it is concluded that the home exposure was most likely the principle cause of illness and death. However, it is also recognized and discussed that chronic use of marijuana may have contributed to the situation.

Fungal pneumonia

Fungal pneumonia slides

Pneumonia

Pneumonia


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