Laboratory Offers Testing Services for Exserohilum and Other Fungal Pathogens
Fungi are a natural part of the environment and can be found all around us, but some can cause infections in people, especially those with a weakened immune system. These pathogenic fungi can sometimes be found in contaminated products and others are commonly associated with mold infested indoor environments.
One particular type of fungi has received a great deal of attention over the past several years. In 2012, a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other fungal infections associated with contaminated steroid injections made the news. Twenty-three states received contaminated injectable steroids that were associated with the outbreak and were linked to a compounding center in Massachusetts. Hundreds of cases were reported, including dozens of deaths.
Exserohilum rostratum was identified as one of the predominant pathogens in the outbreak. Exserohilum is a common mold found in soil and on plants, especially grasses. It thrives in warm and humid climates, and can cause root rot in some plants. It is a very rare cause of infection in people. In addition to the fungal meningitis outbreak, it has been known to cause several different types of infections, including infections of the skin and cornea. These are typically due to skin or eye trauma. Exserohilum can also cause more invasive forms of infection in the sinuses, lungs, lining of the heart and bone.
Exserohilum is just one of many types of fungi that can cause infections in people with a suppressed immune system, said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. At EMSL, we provide testing services for fungal and bacterial pathogens that are known to contaminant a wide range of medical, consumer and food products. Our experts are also regularly called upon to identify these same pathogens from indoor and outdoor environmental samples.
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about Exserohilum and fungal meningitis that can be seen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1rcc4or9iw. To learn more about environmental and product testing for microbial pathogens or other health and safety testing issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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