What Are Mold Toxicity Genetics?
A subset of Americans has specific genetics that renders them unable to produce antibodies for mold toxins. These patients cannot effectively remove the toxic chemicals produced by indoor molds that are increasingly trapped in air-tight homes and buildings.
About 25% of the population has the HLA-DR gene and is genetically susceptible to mold. For these people, foreign substances, or antigens, have defenses that are ineffective at clearing the mold. This causes widespread inflammation throughout the body.
The highest prevalence of HLA-DRBQ genetics is in fair-skinned people of Northern European descent. However, at Sponaugle Wellness Institute, we have diagnosed this gene in patients of all nationalities.
Generally, the lighter the skin, the more likely you are to have toxic mold genetics. Those Americans who naturally produce antibodies to the poisonous gases produced by indoor molds can live and work in water-damaged, sick buildings without suffering the significant health issues those with HLA-DRBQ genetics will suffer. Their antibodies deactivate and remove mold toxins.
However, those patients with HLA-DRBQ genetics continuously accumulate these harmful toxins in their brains and body until they ultimately suffer severe mental and physical disorders.
A gene encodes a specific protein, giving the body and immune system information about biotoxins. HLA-DR/DQ genetic testing reveals that an estimated 25% of the population is more likely to get chronic inflammatory response syndrome because they have inappropriate immune responses and don’t recognize the biotoxins as harmful. Therefore, instead of the body ridding itself of these harmful toxins, the toxins remain and cause inflammation. People with these genetic variants are often referred to as the “canaries in the coal mine” because they become ill more quickly than others. Blood tests can determine your “HLA type”.
For example, if there is water damage in a house, often only someone with one of these HLA gene types may become sick, while the rest of the family is unaffected. This has led to a lot of confusion. In some cases, the person with CIRS has been accused of making it up or has told the symptoms are in their head. In the work setting, these patients may be accused of malingering.
For a long time, CIRS was written off as a phantom illness. Experiencing it personally and successfully identifying and treating hundreds of patients with CIRS, we certainly understand the hopelessness and frustration that occurs when the symptoms are dismissed. If you’ve been struggling with complex, unexplained health issues for a while, CIRS should definitely be considered.