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Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA)

Last updated March 18, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Aspergillosis is an infection or allergic condition caused by inhaling Aspergillus fungus commonly found in the environment. These fungi are found growing on the soil, plants, building materials, compost piles, and other decaying vegetation.


The topic Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) you are seeking is a synonym, or alternative name, or is closely related to the medical condition Aspergillosis.

Quick Summary:

  • Aspergillosis is an infection or allergic condition caused by inhaling Aspergillus fungus commonly found in the environment. These fungi are found growing on the soil, plants, building materials, compost piles, and other decaying vegetation
  • Aspergillus causes allergic reactions, lung infection, and infection of other organs of the body. Individuals with suppressed immune system or with an underlying lung condition, such as asthma, are at an increased risk of infection
  • There are various forms of Aspergillosis such as:
    • Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA): The fungus causes allergic respiratory symptoms such as wheezing and coughing. It does not actually invade and destroy tissues in the body
    • Invasive Aspergillosis: Individuals with weakened immune system are affected by this infection. The infection spreads from the lungs to the bloodstream and then to the brain, heart, kidneys, and skin. The fungus invades and damages the tissues in the body
    • Aspergilloma: A fungus ball that develops in an area of previous lung disease, such as in asthmatics
  • Severe attacks of Aspergillosis are caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger, while less severe effects are caused by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus clavatus
  • The signs and symptoms associated with Aspergillosis are cough with sputum and blood, breathing difficulties, wheezing, fever, and chest pain
  • Treatment of this fungal infection depends upon the type and health condition of the affected individual. those with asthma, weakened immune system, or lung disease should avoid areas, such as marshlands, forests, grain stores, piles of dead leaves, where the Aspergillus fungus are found in plenty
  • With correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment, Aspergillus Infection has good prognosis. But, Invasive Aspergillosis is a serious condition and requires urgent medical attention; otherwise, it may become fatal

Please find comprehensive information on Aspergillosis regarding definition, distribution, risk factors, causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention, prognosis, and additional useful information HERE.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 18, 2017
Last updated: March 18, 2018