Allergic aspergillosis is a pulmonary illness caused by an allergic reaction to the spores of Aspergillus, a common fungus found in nature. This disorder primarily affects those who have pre-existing respiratory issues, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis, and if not addressed, it can lead to serious health complications.


What is Aspergillus?

Aspergillus is a genus of fungi that grows well in a variety of settings, but it is most common in dust, soil, and decomposing plant matter. Aspergillus spores are common and usually safe for most individuals to breathe, but for those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing lung problems, they can be quite dangerous.



The symptoms of ABPA vary, depending on the type and severity of illness. They typically include the following:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, and persistent productive cough.
  • Fever: The allergic reaction may cause a mild to moderate fever.
  • Chest Pain: Pain and discomfort may be brought on by lung inflammation.
  • Mucus Production: Thick, brownish mucus plugs are frequently formed.
  • Sinus Issues: Nasal discharge, congestion, and pain in the sinuses



A combination of imaging, laboratory testing, and clinical examination is used to diagnose allergic aspergillosis:

  • Clinical Evaluation: Physicians evaluate patient history and symptoms, paying particular attention to any respiratory disorders that may be present.
  • Imaging: CT scans and chest X-rays aid in the visualisation of any alterations to the sinuses or lungs. These typically include “fleeting infiltrates” and bilateral central bronchiectasis and in some cases aspergillomas ( fungus ball).
  • Laboratory Tests: Sputum culture, skin prick testing, and blood tests to identify certain antibodies (IgE and IgG) against Aspergillus can all verify exposure and an allergic hypersensitivity reaction to the fungus.



The goals of treating allergic aspergillosis are to manage symptoms, control inflammation, and regulate the allergic reaction. Typical methods include of:

  • Corticosteroids: The cornerstone of treatment for lowering nasal and lung inflammation is the use of these anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Antifungal medications: To lower the fungal burden and stop repeated infections, medications such as itraconazole may be utilised.
  • Bronchodilators: These drugs facilitate breathing by opening airways; asthmatic patients find them especially helpful.
  • Saline irrigation and nasal corticosteroids: These therapies assist in reducing nasal irritation and mucus buildup in AAS patients.
  • Regular Monitoring: To prevent complications and make necessary adjustments to treatment regimens, ongoing assessment and monitoring are essential.



Reducing exposure to Aspergillus spores is necessary to prevent allergic aspergillosis, particularly in those who are at risk:

  • Environmental Control: You can help reduce the risk by limiting your exposure to mould, dust, and decomposing organic waste.
  • Using air purifiers and doing routine cleaning can help lower the amount of spores indoors.
  • Masks can offer further protection when working with compost, dirt, or in moist areas.