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What is chronic pulmonary aspergillosis?

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Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a type of mold called aspergillus. It usually affects your lungs.

Aspergillus, the mold that causes aspergillosis, is quite common. You can find it everywhere, indoors and out. Tiny bits of the mold, called spores, float in the air. Most of us can breathe in these spores without any problem.

But if you’re already sick or have problems with your immune system because of certain illnesses or medications you take, you can get aspergillosis. It isn’t contagious though, so you can’t give it to or catch it from someone else.

Sometimes an aspergillosis doesn’t go away quickly. If you have an aspergillosis infection for 3 months, your doctor will consider it chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. Possible symptoms include:

  • Thickened tissue around the lungs (pleural thickening)
  • Scarred lung tissue (fibrosis)
  • Empty spaces inside the lung tissue (cavitation)
  • Aspergillomas, also known as or fungus balls or fungal balls. These slow-growing tangled balls are made up of mold fibers, mucus, white blood cells, and bits of clotted blood.

SOURCES:

National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Aspergillosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Aspergillosis.”

American Thoracic Society: “Aspergillosis.”

CDC: “Aspergillosis.”

Merck Manual: “Aspergillosis.”

Reviewed by Carmelita Swiner on April 23, 2020

SOURCES:

National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Aspergillosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Aspergillosis.”

American Thoracic Society: “Aspergillosis.”

CDC: “Aspergillosis.”

Merck Manual: “Aspergillosis.”

Reviewed by Carmelita Swiner on April 23, 2020

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What is invasive aspergillosis?

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