Establishing a link between novel indoor mycotoxin exposure and potential human health outcomes

Status: Current

Research themes: Resilience Health and comfort

Research areas: Indoor microbes and moisture; Indoor particulate and gaseous pollutant dynamics

Project Objectives

1) Examine how moisture and temperature influence indoor mycotoxin production and 2) Identify known and novel mycotoxins in dust utilizing analytical chemistry methods.


Dust samples will be collected from homes and incubated at varying moisture levels (50-85%) to investigate the influence of moisture on mycotoxin production. Samples will be examined for presence of specific known indoor mycotoxins using both liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Once a protocol to detect mycotoxins has been developed it will be expanded on a machine learning will be used to systematically identify known and previously unknown indoor mycotoxins. 


Results from this work will increase our ability to detect previously ‘masked’ mycotoxins while also expanding current known indoor mycotoxins. This work will culminate in an indoor mycotoxin database using both previously known mycotoxins and novel mycotoxins detected through this study.

People Involved

Gordon Tan

Gordon Tan

BSc EngSci

Dr. Sarah Haines

Dr. Sarah Haines

Principal Investigator

Purushoth Thavendran

Purushoth Thavendran

4th Year Thesis Student