Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Aspergillosis Underlying Cause

The Aspergillus fungus is common in the environment, where it grows on dead leaves, stored grain, compost piles, or other decaying plant matter. There are three ways Aspergillus causes disease in humans.

Causes of aspergillosis include:

  • Allergic reaction to Aspergillus: common in people with asthma
  • A prior lung infection, such as an abscess, becomes colonized by Aspergillus and produces a fungus ball, called an aspergilloma.
  • Invasive infection: infection starts as pneumonia and then spreads to other parts of the body. Infection can spread to the eyes, heart, brain, and kidneys. This occurs in those with weak immune systems.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Aspergillosis References
  1. Silveira F, Paterson DL. Pulmonary fungal infections. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2005 May;11(3):242-6. [15818187]
  2. Slavin RG, Hutcheson PS, Chauhan B, Bellone CJ. An overview of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis with some new insights. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2004 Nov-Dec;25(6):395-9. [15709450]
  3. Wark P. Pathogenesis of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and an evidence-based review of azoles in treatment. Respir Med. 2004 Oct;98(10):915-23. [15481266]
  4. Zander DS. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: an overview. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2005 Jul;129(7):924-8. [15974818]
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