What is the difference between mold and mildew? Mold (also spelt as mould) refers to a microfungus whose body is made up of a network of branching filaments (called mycelium). Mildew on the other hand refers to a plant disease in which the pathogen (mold) is seen on the surface of the host. However, mildew and mold are used interchangeably to refer to microfungi.
Fungi (mold and yeasts) play an important role in nature. The are both destructive and beneficial. In nature, fungi contribute, together with other organisms, to the breakdown and recycling of organic matter. The fungi have also played beneficial roles in the food industry, in medicine and in agriculture. Harmful effects of fungi include biodegradition (destruction of valuable materials) and causing diseases in humans, animals and plants.
Inhalation of airborne fungal spores by susceptible individuals can result in allergic reactions including asthma. It’s widely believed that fungi and their byproducts play a role in sick building syndrome.