Are Mold, Food, and Penicillin Allergies Related?

Mold allergy may cause some forms of food allergy.

Are Mold, Food, and Penicillin Allergies Related?

Mold allergy may predispose a person to food allergies, but not to medication allergies.

Penicillium is a common indoor mold that causes nasal allergies and asthma in certain people. While the antibiotic penicillin was originally developed from Penicillium, people with mold allergy are not at increased risk for developing an allergy to this class of antibiotics.

Modern-day penicillin antibiotics are produced synthetically and are not contaminated with mold particles.

It is possible, however, for people with mold allergy to be predisposed to food allergies. Penicillium can be found in certain aged and blue-veined cheeses, such as Roquefort and Camembert. There have been reports of food allergy reactions in Penicillium-allergic people who eat these cheeses. Symptoms of oral allergy syndrome have also been reported in people with mold allergies who have eaten raw mushrooms.

Learn more about mold allergies.

Sources:

Dauby P, Whisman B, Hagan L. Cross-reactivity between raw mushroom and molds in a patient with oral allergy syndrome. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002; 89: 319-22.

Kuhl S. Aeroallergens and Other Environmental Allergens. In: Naguwa SM, Gershwin ME, eds. Allergy and Immunology Secrets. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Hanley and Belfus, Inc.;2001:33-44.

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