Penicillium is a very interesting genus of mold . Definitely the Dr. Jekyll/Mr.Hyde of the mold world. First, there is Mr.Hyde. Maybe more like Mr.Hyde light. Penicillium species can cause allergic and asthmatic reaction in susceptible individuals as well as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Penicillium is normally nonpathogenic with some exceptions. One exception is Penicillium marneffei, a dimorphic species capable of causing infection of the lymphatic system, the lungs, the liver, the skin, the spleen, and the bones. Penicillium marneffei can enter dermally, through breathing, and the digestive tract. Southeast Asia and Indonesia are usually where these infections happen. Rarely does it run the risk of being pathogenic in people but its possible.
Now for Dr. Jekyll. So here is a good thing about Penicillium especially Penicillium chrysogenum. It’s where penicillin comes from. A lot of you probably have taken penicillin when you had an infection of some kind. As a matter of fact, it kills more kinds of bacterial infections than you would ever think. This discovery of penicillin was done by Alexander Fleming in1929. He grew the appropriate amounts of Penicillium chrysogenum and it exuded a substance with Gram Positive bacteria killing properties which he named penicillin. Its antibiotic potential was discovered in the late 1930’s. Toxic substances are produced by mold to kill off fungi and bacteria that are competing for the same food source. One that kills off bacteria in humans when used at the proper amount is just what the doctor ordered. Also, several species of Penicillium molds are used to make cheese.
- Penicillium camemberti, which is used in the making Camembert and Brie cheeses
- Penicillium Glaucum, which is used in making Gorgonzola cheese
- Penicillium roqueforti, which is used in making Roquefort, Danish Blue cheese
Mmmm Mmmm I LOVE CHEESE!!!! This is definitely a good use of mold!!!
Please visit www.tampabaymold.net or CALL (813) 358-4766 to have your home or business evaluated for mold or correct any ongoing mold issues.