People who are exposed to mold in their homes could be at an increased risk for sarcoidosis, a chronic inflammatory lung disease. Researchers from Sweden and Slovenia tested 62 nonsmoking patients with sarcoidosis, 34 of whom had extrapulmonary manifestations (EPM).
Patients were tested for β-glucan, an immune-modulating agent found in fungi, and accompanying inflammatory biomarkers, including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and IL-12. Serum samples were also obtained from 18 control subjects with no pulmonary disease or respiratory symptoms.
Results showed that levels of IL-6 and IL-12 were higher among subjects with sarcoidosis as compared with controls, and IL-12 was significantly higher among subjects with EPM. There also was a significant relation between β-glucan and mold/fungi levels in the home. Researchers conclude that the results further support the hypothesis that exposure to fungi is important for the risk of sarcoidosis. This study was presented during CHEST 2012, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 20 - 25, in Atlanta, Georgia.