Aspergillus is a common type of fungus. It is found all over the world. Aspergillosis is an infection causes by this fungus. It can cause severe problems in the lung.
This type of infection is rare. It is more common in people with:
In these cases, the fungus can spread to other organs. This can include the eye, sinuses, and brain. It is a serious condition that requires treatment.
Another form of aspergillosis affects people with ]]>asthma]]> :
- ]]>Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis]]> —a type of allergic reactions to environmental agents
Inhaling fungus spores causes can be the first step to aspergillosis.
Inhalation of Spores
The following factors increase your chance of developing Aspergillus :
- Drugs that accompany an organ transplant
- Certain cancer treatments
- Long-term, high-dose cortisone-like drugs
- Poorly functioning or too few white blood cells (neutropenia)
- Chronic lung disease
Asthma in Lungs
If you experience any of these, do not assume it is due to aspergillosis. These symptoms may be caused by many other health conditions. They may be more or less serious. See your doctor if you experience any one of these:
- Chronic productive cough
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist in lung diseases or infectious diseases. A pulmonologist focuses on the lungs.
Tests may include the following:
There is a reason why you have this disease. The underlying disease must be treated along with the Aspergillus . Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options for this condition include:
Part of your lung may need to be removed if it contains a large mass of fungus.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
The Aspergillus Website
Canadian HIV/AIDS Information Centre
The Canadian Lung Association
Aspergillosis. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamicmedical.com/dynamed.nsf?opendatabase . Accessed October 4, 2005.
Beers MH, Berkow R, eds. The Merck Manual . 17th ed. West Point, PA: Merck & Co;1999.
Bennett JE. Aspergillosis. In: Kasper DL, et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 16th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2005:1188-1190.
Mandell GL, Bennet JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases . 6th ed. 2005.
Last reviewed January 2009 by ]]>David L. Horn, MD, FACP]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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