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Aspergillosis

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Summary

Aspergillosis is a disease caused by a fungus (or mold) called Aspergillus. The fungus is very common in both indoors and outdoors. Most people breathe in the spores of the fungus every day without being affected. But some people get the disease. It usually occurs in people with lung diseases or weakened immune systems.

There are different kinds of aspergillosis. One kind is allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (also called ABPA). Symptoms of ABPA include wheezing and coughing. ABPA can affect healthy people but it is most common in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis.

Another kind is invasive aspergillosis, which damages tissues in the body. It usually affects the lungs. Sometimes it can also cause infection in other organs and spread throughout the body. It affects people who have immune system problems, such as people who have had a transplant, are taking high doses of steroids, or getting chemotherapy for some cancers.

Your doctor might do a variety of tests to make the diagnosis, including a chest x-ray, CT scan of the lungs, and an examination of tissues for signs of the fungus. Treatment is with antifungal drugs. If you have ABPA, you may also take steroids.

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