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All about aspergillosis causes of aspergillosis symptoms of aspergillosis diagnosis of aspergillosis treatment for aspergillosis

What causes aspergillosis?

Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus (Aspergillus), which is commonly found growing on dead leaves, stored grain, compost piles, or in other decaying vegetation. Dirt, dust, or other materials containing Aspergillus can easily travel through the air and be inhaled into the lungs. People who smoke marijuana, which can contain Aspergillus spores, may be at an increased

risk of developing aspergillosis.

It causes illness in three ways: as an allergic reaction in people with asthma (Pulmonary aspergillosis - allergic bronchopulmonary type); as a colonization and growth in an old healed lung cavity from previous disease (such as tuberculosis or lung abscess) where it produces a fungus ball called aspergilloma; and as an invasive infection with pneumonia that is spread to other parts of the body by the bloodstream (Pulmonary aspergillosis - invasive type).

The invasive infection can affect the eye, causing blindness, and any other organ of the body, but especially the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys. The third form occurs almost exclusively in people who are immunosuppressed because of cancer, AIDS, leukemia, organ transplants, high doses of corticosteroid drugs, chemotherapy, or other diseases that reduce the number of normal white blood cells.

Aspergilla may affect the lower respiratory tract, and even the intestinal tract and other organs. Although lungs and air sacs are usually involved, the trachea, syrinx, and bronchi may be affected as well. Infection can spread from the respiratory tract to become pneumonia or enter the peritoneal cavity. Patients exhibit labored breathing, severe depression and extreme emaciation. Unfortunately, for birds, the mortality rate is exceptionally high.

More information on aspergillosis

What is aspergillosis? - Aspergillosis is a fungal disease of the respiratory tract of birds and mammals usually caused by Aspergillus fumigatus.
What causes aspergillosis? - Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus (Aspergillus). Aspergillus can easily travel through the air and be inhaled into the lungs.
What're the symptoms of aspergillosis? - Symptoms of aspergillosis are facial swelling, cough and difficulty breathing, chest pain, and fever and night sweats.
How is aspergillosis diagnosed? - X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan of the infected area will be used to provide clues for making the diagnosis of aspergillosis.
What's the treatment for aspergillosis? - The goal of treatment for aspergillosis is to control symptomatic infection. Invasive aspergillosis may resist drug treatment and progress to death.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005