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Fungal Illness: Dr. Marinkovich - Clinically Relevant Characteristics of Fungi

Article Index

III. Clinically relevant characteristics

of fungi:

Fungi are nature’s recyclers. They are extremely abundant in nature, carrying the mandate to reduce all organic matter to its basic constituents. The organisms are armed with several features that allow them to satisfy this mandate. They are microscopic cells which are numerous in all climates where temperatures are above freezing; they exist in two forms, an active, growing form and a dormant, hardy, drought resistant and easily wind-borne form (the spore, also known by the scientific name of conidia). They are superbly versatile and can grow on virtually any wet surface. They secrete their digestive enzymes (Kurup, 2003), digest their environment and absorb their necessary foodstuffs from their immediate, digested environment. Among the products of digestion are toxins (known as mycotoxins because they are derived from fungi), which help them control the potential intrusion of competing organisms into their space. Each of these characteristics plays a role in the disease patterns seen in fungal illness.

The job of fungal spores is to broadcast the organism widely in the environment. They are tiny, lightweight and easily airborne. They are in all natural environments the most prevalent particles in the air at all times. Even at the height of a pollen season, the pollen particles are outnumbered ten to one by fungal spores. The human body is marvelously equipped to deal with such large numbers of potentially infectious particles in the air. The filtering capacity of the nasal mucosa easily removes the larger spores, greater than 10 microns in diameter, from the inspired air. Once trapped on the mucosa, the tiny hairs on mucosal surfaces (cilia) move the particles toward the throat where they are swallowed and destroyed by the acid in the stomach. Some of the smaller spores, less than 10 microns in diameter, may be inhaled into the lungs (Geiser et al., 2000). But even here the normal self-cleansing functions of the lung, which includes its own cilia and mucus production, are mobilized and particles are moved upward and swallowed. A small subset of the tiniest spores, less than three microns in diameter, may be inhaled and trapped in the alveoli and terminal bronchioles beyond the reach of the cilia. They are handled by the scavenger cells in the lungs, the alveolar macrophages.

It is extremely important to understanding the pathophysiology of fungal exposure because once the fungal elements have reached the alveoli they have entered the tissue space from which they can be absorbed into the blood stream.


"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

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