October 1, 1997

Effects of Mycotoxins in Health and Disease

Author Affiliations

MD Health Plan North Haven, Conn
Seattle, Wash

JAMA. 1997;278(13):1062-1063. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550130036027

To the Editor.  —In the Medical News & Perspectives article by Mr Marwick,1 the threat of a "toxic mold" hazard associated with flooding in the Midwest underscores a much larger threat posed by mycotoxins. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report2 noted numerous illnesses and deaths attributed the Stachybotrys atra mycotoxins in the United States as a relatively recent phenomenon. We have postulated that exposure to S atra explains the mystery surrounding the 10th plague mentioned in Exodus.3Unfortunately, literature on plant pathology and veterinary science is not routinely accessible through medical search engines, and the extent of human and animal mycotoxin pathology is largely unknown to the medical community. Mycotoxins are ubiquitous, extremely potent, biologically active toxins, which in trifling amounts cause numerous diseases in animals and humans.4 Mycotoxins may be the "purloined letter" we have been looking for to explain other human disease