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Mold Blindspots Series

Part 2: Microbial Coexistence

September 28, 2023

The Intricate Microbial Interplay Between Bacteria, Fungi, and Viruses

By Cesar Collado

There is a complex relationship between bacteria, fungi, and viruses that provides valuable insight into causes of serious infections.  The coexistence and simultaneous presence suggests a synergistic coexistence. There is significant diversity and unique characteristics of microorganisms, akin to the varied demographics within a city’s population.

Understanding Microbial Coexistence:

Analogous to a diverse city population, microorganisms exhibit varying characteristics, behaviors, and interactions. Mold testing plates show differences in colony size, shape, and color.  DNA testing, on the other hand, is limited to the DNA of a specific genus.  For example, there are many species of aspergillus, PCR will identify only a few named species.  Alternatively, microscopy allows analysts to identify related subspecies in the genus.  This information is valuable as it can have direct impact on the magnitude of the mold contamination. Read more about testing methods HERE.

Different test plates

Factors Driving Microbial Coexistence:

  1. Environmental Factors:  This is the influence of environmental conditions, which includes temperature, humidity, pH levels, nutrient availability, etc.  These conditions have an impact on fostering the growth of multiple microorganisms.  Specific settings, like moist environments and water sources, create conducive habitats for various bacteria, fungi, and microorganisms.
  2. Shared Resources: Microorganisms compete for resources such as nutrients, moisture, and space. We can study how decaying organic matter becomes a valuable nutrient source for bacteria, fungi, and other decomposers. Further investigation is required to look into the conditions that facilitate the proliferation of toxin-producing microorganisms in moisture-laden areas like water-damaged homes.
  3. Synergistic Relationships: There are symbiotic relationships among microorganisms, where mutual benefits lead to their coexistence. Certain bacteria and fungi collaborate to break down complex organic compounds, resulting in biofilm formation that offers protection for participating microorganisms.
  4. Cross-Contamination: We can study the mechanisms of cross-contamination, where microorganisms spread through direct contact or airborne transmission. Various pathogens can inadvertently be transferred in settings such as hospitals, affecting patients, healthcare workers, and equipment.
  5. Human Activities: Human actions have an impact on the proliferation and mingling of microorganisms. Poor hygiene practices, inadequate sanitation, and improper food handling can contribute to the presence of multiple microorganisms. Industrial processes, agriculture, and waste management introduce microorganisms into the environment.

Mold Contamination

Microorganisms: Beneficial and Concerning:

As we highlight the varied roles of microorganisms, we must emphasize their beneficial and neutral roles within ecosystems. The gut microbiome serves as an example of symbiotic relationships. Recognize that while many microorganisms are beneficial, favorable conditions and interactions with susceptible materials can lead to potential health and environmental challenges.  Microbial co-infections are common.  We can dismiss the notion of bacteria, fungi, and viruses as solitary entities. They function in communities, similar to human interactions. Microbial contamination is a complex mixture that necessitates remediation and/or sanitation efforts.  Any disruption of one species can impact the growth of another.  For example, antibiotics can eliminate good bacteria in the microbiome.  This creates a favorable environment for yeast and fungi to grow.  Read more about Candida infections in the gut HERE.

Empowering Comprehensive Mold Testing:

ImmunoLytics is committed to providing an inclusive mold testing kit. Each kit comes with user-friendly instructions, result interpretation, and phone consultation to comprehend mold reports and take informed next steps. Read more about “Where to Start” HERE.

Immunolytics Kit


The remaining articles further explore the intricate web of microbial coexistence and its implications on health and the environment. These articles will provide a deeper appreciation for the dynamics of bacteria, fungi, and viruses within the ecosystem.

For comprehensive mold testing solutions and expert guidance, ImmunoLytics is your trusted partner. Reach out for a thorough understanding of your mold report and personalized action steps.

Mold Blind Spots Series

This article series sheds light on often overlooked mold sensitivity triggers or mold blind spots. Look for our weekly published articles beginning mid-September 2023.

Mold Blind Spot 1:

The Superantigen Response to Mold

There are certain situations where mold induces a cytokine storm.  A cytokine storm is an intense inflammatory reaction that can lead to life-threatening conditions. The immune system goes into overdrive in producing inflammatory signals called cytokines.  This condition is difficult to diagnose and is often misdiagnosed in emergency settings.

Mold test Plates
Mold Blind Spot 2:

Microbial Coexistence

Most infectious conditions involve multiple microbial contaminations.  Single organism infections do occur in various environments. However, single fungal microorganism contamination is a rare phenomenon unless the specific mold has colonized and reproduced significantly in part of the human body.

Microbial soup
Mold Blind Spot 3:

What is Microbial Soup?

October 5, 2023

In most infection cases, biofilms are formed collaboratively by different microorganisms in order to mutually survive in the body. There are many common microbial combinations that are prevalent in water-damaged homes.

Hospital infections
Mold Blind Spot 4:

Hospital Acquired Infections

October 12, 2023

While hospitals would seem to be well maintained and regularly disinfected, many people develop infections after being in the hospital for a couple days.  The “nosocomial” infections are prevalent, often resistant, and can be life threatening.

Mold Blind Spot 5:

Vulnerable Populations

November 2, 2023

The presence of mold can pose significant health risks for immunocompromised individuals. Explore the unique health circumstances that impact a family’s well-being.

Mold test Plates
Mold Blind Spot 6:

Aspergillosis, A Common Fungal Infection

November 9, 2023

Aspergillus is the most common fungal infection that often involves hospitalizations. Aspergillosis infections involve significant reproduction and colonization inside the human body. Aspergillus is also a mycotoxin producing mold. It is helpful to understand fungal infections and the impact on health and potential treatment approaches.

Mold Blind Spot 7:

Candida Overgrowth

November 16, 2023

Candida albicans are single cell yeasts that are part of the fungi empire and also a component of the human microbiome. Candida overgrowth, often linked to diet and antibiotic usage, can have significant chronic and acute health implications.

Mold test Plates
Mold Blind Spot 8:

Understanding "The Body’s Toxic Load"

November 22, 2023

The human body is limited in it’s ability to process toxic substances like pollutants, heavy metals, and more. Learn how mold illness can result from single severe exposure, or cumulative minor ones, leading to severe mold sensitivity. The body’s “toxic load” is referenced when the body has reached its lifetime maximum of toxins and becomes hypersensitive to almost any allergen or toxin.