Mold colonies aggregate and use environmental nanoparticles, becoming more pathogenic

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
But Cyanobacteria blooms also happen for environmental reasons and caused by things like agriculture runoff which causes eutrophication events, so I wonder if the very presence (not pathogenicity ) of that Cyanobacteria bloom was bc of some environmental pollutant. Does silver provide a substrate for Cyanobacteria? I know the nitrogen and increased nutrients from fertilizers do increase Cyanobacteria blooms
 

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
Now that would be an interesting experiment to conduct: get hold of some Cyanobacteria, preferably the same species that appeared on Lake Tahoe during the outbreak, and test the effects of adding silver iodide to them.

Maybe that combination might make the Cyanobacteria more toxic to humans.
Actually I did find something saying Cyanobacteria can synthesize silver nanoparticles : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167701218309801

Says nothing about pathogenicity but this is just what came up w a simple google search
 

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
I have found no literature suggesting silver contributes to eutrophication, but eutrophication is a huge problem that may be relevant to biotoxin illness. I wonder if there were any relevant pollutants in Tahoe.
According to Ullmann's Encyclopedia, "the primary limiting factor for eutrophication is phosphate." The availability of phosphorus generally promotes excessive plant growth and decay, favouring simple algae and plankton over other more complicated plants, and causes a severe reduction in water quality. Phosphorus is a necessary nutrient for plants to live, and is the limiting factor for plant growth in many freshwater ecosystems. Phosphate adheres tightly to soil, so it is mainly transported by erosion. Once translocated to lakes, the extraction of phosphate into water is slow, hence the difficulty of reversing the effects of eutrophication.[4] However, numerous literature report that nitrogen is the primary limiting nutrient for the accumulation of algal biomass.[5]
The sources of these excess phosphates are phosphates in detergent, industrial/domestic run-offs, and fertilizers. With the phasing out of phosphate-containing detergents in the 1970s, industrial/domestic run-off and agriculture have emerged as the dominant contributors to eutrophication.[6]
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
12,957
Likes
23,913
Just found something very interesting:

As you know, Erik Johnson proposed the toxic cyanobacteria called Microcystis was a major factor behind the Lake Tahoe ME/CFS outbreak (in combination with the viral outbreak that occurred there at the same time). He says that Microcystis periodically grows in the Boca Reservoir just north of Lake Tahoe and sometimes results in cyanotoxin contamination of the drinking water supplies of Reno and Lake Tahoe.

Now Microcystis produces several cyanotoxins, but the nastiest and most toxic one is microcystin-LR, which has the potential to impair vital immune responses. Ref: 1 If the residents of Lake Tahoe had microcystin-LR in their drinking water, that could explain why they were unable to mount a proper immune response to the virus, which may have allowed the virus free reign in the body, triggering ME/CFS.


So I just found this 2018 paper which observed that if you add zinc oxide nanoparticles to Microcystis, it results in this cyanobacterium producing even more microcystin-LR.
 
Last edited:

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
Now Microcystis produces several cyanotoxins, but the nastiest and most toxic one is microcystin-LR, which has the potential to impair vital immune responses. Ref: 1 If the residents of Lake Tahoe had microcystin-LR in their drinking water, that could explain why they were unable to mount a proper immune response to the virus, which may have allowed the virus free reign in the body, triggering ME/CFS.


So I just found this 2018 paper which observed that of you add zinc oxide nanoparticles to Microcystis, it results in this cyanobacterium producing even more microcystin-LR
Wow ! This is impressive stuff, Hip. Really a perfect storm. And I doubt Erik knows of this recent paper. I’m no longer on social media so I have no way to contact him about it. Researchers should be alerted however
 

Gingergrrl

Senior Member
Messages
14,668
Likes
43,758
@debored13 Thanks for tagging me and I attempted to read the article but did not understand it :D!

I was curious though, when we had the mold & mycotoxin testing done by three different companies of our (former) rental w/the toxic levels of mold, the measurement used was "ppb" or "parts per billion" (re: stachybotrys and about 19 other types of mold).

Does this measurement refer to "nanoparticles" or is a nanoparticle a separate entity that attaches to the mold or mycotoxin making it more toxic or more easily spread (the way it spread through our a/c system)? Or is it referring to something else altogether?
 

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
Does this measurement refer to "nanoparticles" or is a nanoparticle a separate entity that attaches to the mold or mycotoxin making it more toxic or more easily spread (the way it spread through our a/c system)? Or is it referring to something else altogether?
I’m Not a remediation expert but I doubt they’d were testing for additional nanoparticles that this article mentions. This article refers to nanoparticles from the external enviroment attaching to mold spores.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
1,768
Likes
2,845
I'm no expert on nanoparticles, but I do know that it's a very complex field. The properties of nanoparticles can change quite drastically with fairly small changes. Something on the order of: a NP consisting of 14 gold atoms has one set of properties; add a bismuth atom, and maybe it becomes ferromagnetic; add one gallium atoms and it becomes a catalyst for some specific chemical reaction; add two gallium atoms and it catalyzes a completely different reaction. Since it's probably quite hard to generate consistent NPs accidentally (or even intentionally), any interaction with mold spores or the human body would be combinations of various different properties.

There may be some general effects of some kinds of NPs. Maybe a wide variety of NPs can make it harder for the immune cells to deal with mold spores, but it's also possible that a small change in the NPs can make it easier for the immune cells to deal with them. It looks like a really, really complex field of study to me. Checking for health effects of drugs or even chemicals seems simple in comparison.
 

GypsyGirl

Senior Member
Messages
165
Likes
377
Location
North Carolina
@debored13 Thank you for tagging me! I delved into this yesterday. It sparked a lot of good questions, though I don't have the spoons to articulate them well at the moment.

Do you know if nanoparticles only form on other particles (in this case, mold), or if nanoparticles can be free-floating and can be air-borne by themselves?

If the latter, it would illuminate some challenges in air filtration for those with biotoxin illness (considering air purifiers generally measure in filtering by microns, and 1 micron=1,000 nanometer).
 
Last edited:

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
@debored13 Thank you for tagging me! I delved into this yesterday. It sparked a lot of good questions, though I don't have the spoons to articulate them well at the moment.

Do you know if nanoparticles only form on other particles (in this case, mold), or if nanoparticles can be free-floating and can be air-borne by themselves?

If the latter, it would illuminate some challenges in air filtration for those with biotoxin illness (considering air purifiers generally measure in filtering by microns, and 1 micron=1 nanometer).
I have not done much research on this but one reason air pollution in cities Can be such a health risk is nanoparticles of certain metals, like iron. So I think nanoparticles can Be pathogenic without mold. But the other reason hepa doesn’t really work for mold is it doesn’t filter out or denature mycotoxins. It may lower the spore count which could help if one was conceptualizing the mold as an allergen or mere irritant rather than as neurotoxin
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
1,768
Likes
2,845
Certainly nanoparticles, both natural and artificial, can be free-floating. Mold spores are just capturing what's out there. I expect that most fires put out some amount of nanoparticles. I'm guessing that there are many other natural processes that create nanoparticles and set them loose in the air and water. Filtering them out would certainly be challenging.

I'm not sure what the magnitude of nanoparticle exposure was before the industrial age, and thus how much of an increase we now have, but I expect that we're exposed to a much wider variety these days, particularly containing metals.
 
Messages
62
Likes
144
Couldn't you just use a high quality air purifier? They are supposed to remove all particles from the air, including mold spores.
 

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
Couldn't you just use a high quality air purifier? They are supposed to remove all particles from the air, including mold spores.
Lol. Lots of products make claims.
I haven’t heard of air purifiers that both denature mycotoxins ans filter ALL particles. Hepa is worthless when it comes to mold bc it just filters most spores but mycotoxins are the problem
 

GypsyGirl

Senior Member
Messages
165
Likes
377
Location
North Carolina
Couldn't you just use a high quality air purifier? They are supposed to remove all particles from the air, including mold spores.
Even very good air purifiers have limits and don't remove all particles from the air. When they advertise "filter all particles", it's a bit misleading. Yes, all particles may pass through the filter, but only the larger particles will be caught in the filter.

I haven't seen an air purifier higher than filtering 99.97% of all particles, up to .03 microns and larger in size (not smaller). like here - https://www.airpurifiers.com/pages/hepa-is-key-for-air-purifiers

Nanoparticles would be too small to be filtered (as a nanoparticle is 1,000 times smaller than a micron) and pass right through such a filter.
 

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
Even very good air purifiers have limits and don't remove all particles from the air. When they advertise "filter all particles", it's a bit misleading. Yes, all particles may pass through the filter, but only the larger particles will be caught in the filter.

I haven't seen an air purifier higher than filtering 99.97% of all particles, up to .03 microns and larger in size (not smaller). like here - https://www.airpurifiers.com/pages/hepa-is-key-for-air-purifiers

Nanoparticles would be too small to be filtered (as a nanoparticle is 1,000 times smaller than a micron) and pass right through such a filter.
Anecdotally hepa filters are reported to be incredibly insufficienct wrt mold toxicity. Part of that is explainable just via mycotoxins being smaller than spores ans spore fragments being smaller than .3 microns.
But the nanoparticle explanation may help explain why people have found tiny amounts of mycotoxins contamination to be particularly “sticky” and problematic, as if there is some electric charge aspect that goes beyond conventional toxicology explanations
 

debored13

Senior Member
Messages
2,130
Likes
2,878
Location
Vermont, school in Western MA
Previous studies have shown that single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) mixed with protamine forms particles and activates immune cells through Toll-like receptors (TLRs). We have found that the size of protamine-RNA particles generated depends on the electrolyte content when mixing the 2 components. Moreover, we have evidenced that (1) nanometric particles induce production of interferon-α, whereas (2) micrometric particles mainly induce production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in human immune cells. We found that the mechanisms underlying these observations are (1) nanoparticles but not microparticles are selectively phagocytosed by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which produce interferon-α and (2) monocytes that produce TNF-α have a higher activation threshold than that of pDCs. Thus, at the same time as sensing pathogen-associated molecular patterns such as ssRNA, the immune system distinguishes the size of the associated structure in such a way as to trigger the adapted antivirus (nanometric) or antibacterial/antifungal (micrometric) immune response. Our results introduce a new dimension in danger signaling—how size qualitatively affects innate response.”
 

Gingergrrl

Senior Member
Messages
14,668
Likes
43,758
So I think nanoparticles can Be pathogenic without mold
Thanks and that makes sense.

But the other reason hepa doesn’t really work for mold is it doesn’t filter out or denature mycotoxins. It may lower the spore count which could help if one was conceptualizing the mold as an allergen or mere irritant rather than as neurotoxin
I have two good quality hepa filters by Blue Air (in my bedroom & living room) and I'd been using their top quality filter (inside the machine) which was called the "Smoke Stop Filter" (where one side of it was carbon... or charcoal)?

Then it became unavailable on Amazon (so I ordered an alternative brand from a different company that arrived damaged). I finally called Blue Air today and they said that the filter was re-named the "dual protection filter" and it is supposed to be even better now.

This filter says:

"Particle and activated carbon combine to create the Blueair Smoke Stop filter that, with the Classic air purifier, reduces pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, odor, VOCs, tobacco smoke and other gaseous pollutants."

So it does list mold spores BUT I don't know to what level or if this would include mycotoxins (or mycotoxins attached to nanoparticles :eek:)! But I do find it to be an excellent filter overall and am happy with it.
 

GypsyGirl

Senior Member
Messages
165
Likes
377
Location
North Carolina
So it does list mold spores BUT I don't know to what level or if this would include mycotoxins (or mycotoxins attached to nanoparticles :eek:)! But I do find it to be an excellent filter overall and am happy with it.
Blueair's filter strength is here: "Blueair's HEPASilent™ filtration process captures 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size" https://www2.blueair.com/th-en/air-filters/blueair-pro-smokestop-filter

That's probably one of the best air purifiers available. But .1micron is still quite a bit bigger than nanoparticles. As far as I know, there's no air purifier on the market that can filter nanoparticles. It makes sense in theory that very reactive people would still have symptoms even using excellent air purifiers, since very small particles still get past such an air filter.

That said, I have a similar strength air purifier that's been a huge support in cross-contamination (especially from visitors or fragrances like laundry or pesticide wafting in from the neighborhood) and it definitely has helped bring down the overall biotoxin load for me.