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Penicillium Fungi Identified through PCR and DNA Sequencing

EMSL Analytical offers analytical services to quickly identify fungal contaminants that may be present in people’s homes, schools and offices.


Cinnaminson, NJ, September 4th, 2012
Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) is a cutting edge molecular technology that analyzes for the genetic material called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which is found in every cell. EMSL Analytical Laboratories has harnessed this powerful molecular testing technique to identify a host of microbial contaminants and pathogens, including Penicillium.
Penicillium is a ubiquitous soil fungus with over 300 known species.  The fungus is commonly present wherever organic material is available and can thrive in low humidity environments.  These facts allow Penicillium to grow in indoor environments under certain conditions.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria.” 
The fungus can cause allergic reactions in many people and potentially acting as an asthma trigger.  A number of Penicillium species also produce mycotoxins.  These toxic secondary metabolites include Ochratoxin, Citrinin, and Patulin.  In addition, Penicillium marneffei is a pathogenic species of Penicillium that has become an emergent opportunistic pathogen, particularly with people suffering from AIDS.
Many common building materials provide suitable nutrients for molds, such as Penicillium, to grow. Wet cellulosic materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of many types of molds.
“Penicillium spores are often present in the air and dust found in indoor environments,” reported Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology, at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading mold testing laboratory.  “The qPCR analysis of fungi, performed at EMSL Analytical, is done under a Patent License Agreement with the EPA National Exposure and Research Laboratory.  This method can detect the presence of small quantities of Penicillium whether they are alive, dead or cannot be cultured.  For these reasons, qPCR is an exceptionally fast, accurate, sensitive and specific alternative analysis that has many advantages over traditional microbiological methods that involve microscopic direct examination or culturing.” 
EMSL has sponsored an educational video about Penicillium that can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for Penicillium or other microbial pathogens and contaminants, please contact EMSL Analytical at, call (800)220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental 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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