At Sciensano, the BCCM/IHEM fungal collection preserves more than 15,000 different strains of molds and yeasts of bio-medical interest. Sciensano also focuses on molds that have an impact on human health. For example, our hospital environment surveys help prevent nosocomial mycosis.
Moulds are microscopic and filamentous fungi, potentially harmful to health. Some molds are pathogenic and produce toxins that can contaminate food for example. On the other hand, many species come in useful for the traditional preparation of foodstuffs, the decomposition of organic matter, or for industrial applications.
Moulds are a type of fungi that grow as a microscopic network of filamentous cells, called mycelium. Under the right conditions, the mycelium will form cellular structures producing spores that will be dispersed by the wind, rain or small insects. When spores fall on a suitable substrate, new colonies can develop.