Non-Aspergillus Fungi can cause severe Allergic Reactions in Lungs

Allergic bronchonopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a serious disease which involves difficulty in breathing, lung damage (such as lung opacities and bronchiectasis) and severe allergy and high levels of IgE antibodies to Aspergillus species. ABPA also often involves production of thick mucin plugs and/or growth of Aspergillus species in the lungs.

ABPA is very common in asthmatics (1 to 2% of all asthmatics) and cystic fibrosis patients (2 to 15%) and can greatly complicate both conditions. ABPA patients must limit exposure to Aspergillus and other molds (fungi) and frequently have to either leave their workplaces and homes and/or have their workplaces and homes remediated to reduce water and mold damage.
While allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is well recognized mold related disease, only recently has it been recognized that severe lung allergy can develop for non Aspergillus molds. A recent literature review reported 143 world wide cases of severe lung sensitivity to non-Aspergillus molds including Candida albicans (60% of cases), Bipolaris (13%), Schizophyllium commune (11%), Curvularia (8%), Pseudallescheria (3%) and others. In a majority of these lung sensitivity patients, high IgE antibodies to fungi, lung damage and fungi growth in lungs were reported. These allergic bronchopulmonary cases were reported in patients of all ages. The authors believe that rates of bronchopulmonary mycosis- due to both Aspergillus and non-Aspergillus fungi- are greatly underdiagnosed. Treatment for bronchopulmonary mycosis involves reduction in mold exposure, anti-fungal drugs and immunosuppressive drugs like steroids.

Anuradha Chowhardy et al. Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis due to fungi other than Aspergillus: a global overview. Clinical Reviews in Microbiology 2013, In Press.





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