Aspergillosis

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aspergillosis

[‚as·pər·jil′ō·səs]
(medicine)
A rare fungus infection of humans and animals caused by several species of Aspergillus.

Aspergillosis

 

an infectious disease of man, birds, and more rarely other animals. The disease is caused by pathogenic microscopic fungi of the genus Aspergillus (A. mich.). The main reservoir of the fungus is diseased animals.

In man aspergillosis affects the skin, mucous membranes, and internal organs, most often the bronchi and lungs. In birds the disease may arise as a result of feeding upon the waste products of incubation, such as unfertilized eggs, and dead embryos infected with Aspergillus fungi. Factors predisposing to aspergillosis are inadequate feeding and keeping the poultry in crowded, unsanitary conditions. Among ducks and geese aspergillosis is observed in the spring, most often in May.

Aspergillosis is found everywhere and causes considerable economic losses to the poultry industry. From 46 to 90 percent of the young birds may die. The spores of the fungi penetrate the respiratory tract and cause pathological changes in the area in which they ultimately become implanted and develop. The incubationary (hidden) period of the disease is from three to ten days. The main symptoms are lethargy; lack of motion; when inhaling, the diseased bird stretches out its neck and head forward and upward, opens its beak, and swallows air; frequent coughing; and a foaming liquid flow from the beak and nose. In cattle the symptoms are a dry cough, impairment of rumination, dyspnea, and rale. The diagnosis is established on the basis of a complex of clinical and other data. Preventive measures include favorable sanitary and hygienic living conditions, adequate nutrition, strict veterinary and sanitary control of feed, and timely disinfection.

Aspergillosis of bees is a fungus infection caused by the species A. flavus and A. niger. Bees infected with aspergillosis weaken and quickly die. The abdomen of a diseased bee feels hard when pressed. The dead bodies of bees, larvae, and pupae dry out into hard wrinkled lumps which become greenish-yellow or black in one or two days. Cool, damp weather aids the spread of aspergillosis of bees. The disease most often arises in hives located in shady, damp places. Preventive measures include placing hives in dry, sunlit places and timely disinfection. Combs with infected brood should be remade, the bees should be removed to dry, clean hives, and honey or sugar syrup containing 17 to 19 percent water should be added to their diet.

REFERENCES

Poltev, V. I. Bolezni pchel, 4th ed. Leningrad, 1964.
Spesivtseva, N. A. Mikozy i mikotoksikozy, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
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Serum anti-Aspergillus fumigatus antibodies by immunoblot and ELISA in cystic fibrosis with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1994;93:926-31.
Expert consensus for the diagnosis and treatment of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (in Chinese).
Five patients had cystic fibrosis and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Six patients had an aspergilloma; of these patients, 2 were immunocompromised, 1 because of AIDS and 1 because of Job syndrome.
The second is an unusual condition called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, which is an infection in the airways that leads to destruction of the airways.
It is now believed that AFS has an etiology similar to that of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) involving both immediate and delayed hypersensitivity reactions.
Of the 14 patients with available data, 2 had invasive disease; 9 had chronic diseases with [greater than or equal to]1 aspergillomas; 2 had allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; and 1 had Aspergillus bronchitis.
However, there are at least 3 conditions (IgE monoclonal gammopathy, hyper-IgE syndrome, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis) in which elevated IgE levels are universally observed.
Pulmonary aspergillosis is classified as (Figure1): Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA), Semi-invasive or chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis (CNPA), Aspergilloma and Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) (1).
According to the 1997 ATS criteria, patients with NTM disease had more sputum specimens processed for mycobacteria, longer hospital stays, more courses of ibuprofen, higher isolation rate of Aspergillus spp., higher frequency of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and more positive sputum smears than patients with NTM infection (Table 4).