Aspergillosis

Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a specific fungus that is is found all over the world. It can result in severe lung problems.

  • Causes

    Inhaling fungus spores causes aspergillosis.

    Inhalation of Spores
    Spores in lungs
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Definition

    Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a specific fungus that is is found all over the world. It can result in severe lung problems.

  • Diagnosis

    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.

    Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:

    • Blood and urine samples
    • Sputum samples

    Your bodily structures may be viewed. This can be done with:

    • Chest x-ray
    • CT scan
    • MRI scan
    • Bronchoscopy

  • Prevention

    The fungus that causes this condition
    is everywhere. High concentrations may be found in soil or compost. Mildew in bathrooms or other moist places may also contain this fungus. If you are at risk for getting an aspergillus infection, try to avoid close contact with soil or compost and take steps to keep your home mildew-free.

  • Risk Factors

    Risk factors include:


    • Weakened immune system

      • AIDS
      • Drugs that accompany an organ transplant
      • Certain cancer treatments
      • Long-term, high-dose cortisone-like drugs
      • Poorly functioning or too few white blood cells

    • Chronic lung disease

      • Bronchiolitis
      • Tuberculosis
      • Sarcoidosis
      • Histoplasmosis
    • Asthma
    Asthma in Lungs
    Asthma lung
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Chronic, productive cough
    • Coughing up blood
    • Fever
    • Shortness of breath
    • Wheezing

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include:

    • Medications, such as IV amphotericin B, voriconazole, and itraconazole
    • Surgery—part of the lung may need to be removed if it contains a large mass of fungus