Learn About Aspergillosis

What is the definition of Aspergillosis?

Aspergillosis is an infection or allergic response due to the aspergillus fungus.

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What are the alternative names for Aspergillosis?

Aspergillus infection

What are the causes of Aspergillosis?

Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus called aspergillus. The fungus is often found growing on dead leaves, stored grain, compost piles, or in other decaying vegetation. It can also be found on marijuana leaves.

Although most people are often exposed to aspergillus, infections caused by the fungus rarely occur in people who have a healthy immune system.

There are several forms of aspergillosis:

  • Allergic pulmonary aspergillosis is an allergic reaction to the fungus. This infection usually develops in people who already have lung problems such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.
  • Aspergilloma is a growth (fungus ball) that develops in an area of past lung disease or lung scarring such as tuberculosis or lung abscess.
  • Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is a serious infection with pneumonia. It can spread to other parts of the body. This infection occurs most often in people with a weakened immune system. This can be from cancer, AIDS, leukemia, an organ transplant, chemotherapy, or other conditions or drugs that lower the number or function of white blood cells or weaken the immune system.
What are the symptoms of Aspergillosis?

Symptoms depend on the type of infection.

Symptoms of allergic pulmonary aspergillosis may include:

  • Cough
  • Coughing up blood or brownish mucus plugs
  • Fever
  • General ill feeling (malaise)
  • Wheezing
  • Weight loss

Other symptoms depend on the part of the body affected, and may include:

  • Bone pain
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Decreased urine output
  • Headaches
  • Increased phlegm production, which may be bloody
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin sores (lesions)
  • Vision problems
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What are the current treatments for Aspergillosis?

A fungus ball is usually not treated with antifungal medicines unless there is bleeding into the lung tissue. In such a case, surgery and medicines are needed.

Invasive aspergillosis is treated with several weeks of an antifungal medicine. It can be given by mouth or IV (into a vein). Endocarditis caused by aspergillus is treated by surgically replacing the infected heart valves. Long-term antifungal drugs are also needed.

Allergic aspergillosis is treated with drugs that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressive drugs), such as prednisone, typically in conjunction with antifungals.

Who are the top Aspergillosis Local Doctors?
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CECAD Research Center

Kerpener Str 62 
Cologne, DE 

Oliver Cornely is in Cologne, Germany. Cornely is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Aspergillosis. He is also highly rated in 29 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Mucormycosis, Aspergillosis, Agranulocytosis, and Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis.

Elite
Highly rated in
34
conditions

University Of Manchester

Manchester Fungal Infection Group, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre 
Manchester, ENG, GB M139N

David Denning is in Manchester, United Kingdom. Denning is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Aspergillosis. He is also highly rated in 34 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, Kerion Celsi, and Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
17
conditions

Radboud University Medical Center

Radboud University Medical Centre 
Nijmegen, GE, NL 

Paul Verweij is in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Verweij is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Aspergillosis. He is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis, Vaginal Yeast Infection, and Mucormycosis.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Aspergillosis?

With treatment, people with allergic aspergillosis usually get better over time. It is common for the disease to come back (relapse) and need repeat treatment.

If invasive aspergillosis does not get better with drug treatment, it eventually leads to death. The outlook for invasive aspergillosis also depends on the person's underlying disease and immune system health.

What are the possible complications of Aspergillosis?

Health problems from the disease or treatment include:

  • Amphotericin B can cause kidney damage and unpleasant side effects such as fever and chills
  • Bronchiectasis (permanent scarring and enlargement of the small sacs in the lungs)
  • Invasive lung disease can cause massive bleeding from the lung
  • Mucus plugs in the airways
  • Permanent airway blockage
  • Respiratory failure
When should I contact a medical professional for Aspergillosis?

Contact your provider if you develop symptoms of aspergillosis or if you have a weakened immune system and develop a fever.

How do I prevent Aspergillosis?

Precautions should be taken when using medicines that suppress the immune system.

Aspergilloma
Pulmonary aspergillosis
Aspergillosis - chest X-ray
What are the latest Aspergillosis Clinical Trials?
Etude génétique Des Dilatations Des Bronches Idiopathiques en Polynésie française
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Impact of Pre-existing Invasive Aspergillosis on Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Treatment of Acute Leukaemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome
What are the Latest Advances for Aspergillosis?
Surgical resection of lupus nephritis with pulmonary Aspergillus infection: a case report and review of the literature.
Outcomes of surgery for different types of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: results from a single-center, retrospective cohort study.
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Potential links between COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis and bronchiectasis as detected by high resolution computed tomography.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : June 20, 2021
Published By : Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Thompson GR, Patterson TF. Aspergillus species. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 257.

Walsh TJ. Aspergillosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 319.