Once a year we will highlight an issue we think needs more attention. This year is the first year and we have chosen a group of people who play a vital role in the lives of everyone associated with managing aspergillosis: the carers and of course wider family groups who are all affected by this disease. More details...
If you are reading this for the first time it probably means that you or someone you are supporting has a suspected or confirmed aspergillosis. There is a lot of information on aspergillosis available on the internet and some of it is alarming, so we should start with the following: there are several different types of aspergillosis, all of which are treatable and it is only acute invasive aspergillosis that needs urgent treatment. You will have many questions about what happens next but let's start with the most obvious ones first. How do my doctors find out which form of aspergillosis I have (if any)?
X-ray or CT scan following a detailed case history analysis. Blood and sputum tests or a bronchoscopy may be carried out. More details...
A combination of steroids and antifungal medication is usually used. For more details on symptoms, treatment and prognosis go to one of: ABPA CPA IA Sinusitis
Check your drugs for interactions with other drugs in our new database
Regular check ups may be needed at first, but once your condition has stabilised these should get less frequent. More details...
Aspergillosis is a long term illness and support is important, both emotional and practical. More details...
PATIENT MEETINGS (UK)
Informal patient meetings are held at the National Aspergillosis Centre at the University Hospital of South Manchester on the first thursday of each month. More details..
Recordings of Meetings
We record sound in all meeting and then use it to present the slides used - it is as if you were there yourself! A new one will be added each month.
- How to use nebulised amphotericin from Jack Gallagher (University of Manchester Medical School)
- A useful video from our Specialist Physiotherapist giving tips on how to produce a sputum sample when requested.
- Our Specialist Physiotherapist giving tips on breathing techniques and importance of exercise for patients with aspergillosis
- Our Specialist Nurses present a 'virtual clinic' to simulate a visit to National Aspergillosis Centre
- Patients and carers who attend the National Aspergillosis Centre talk about their experiences.
- Visit the videos from the Aspergillosis for Patients Meeting in Rome, Feb 2010.
Aspergillus is a common fungus found throughout the world, spread by microscopic spores which float in the air. We all breathe them in most of the time but most of us have efficient immune systems that kill the spores. Some people do not manage to kill all of the spores; sometimes because they are undergoing treatment that suppresses their immune systems (e.g. transplant patients, bone marrow transplant recipients), but sometimes because they are genetically susceptible (e.g. some asthma sufferers) or possibly because they have breathed in many more spores than is usual. They develop aspergillus infections, known as aspergillosis.
There are several types of aspergillosis which we go into in some detail here, but briefly there is:
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA)
You have a fungal infection deep down in your lungs. This irritates the lung tissue and causes scarring. The infection is treated with antifungal medication and the inflammation and scarring is reduced using steroids.More...
Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis (CPA)
Your lungs have been damaged in some way in the past (e.g tuberculosis) and the fungus can grow in the effected area. Sometimes it grows as a fungal ball (i.e. aspergilloma) in the cavity. Sometimes several cavities are involved (CCPA). More...
Almost exclusively effects very highly immune suppressed people e.g. Transplant patients, bone marrow transplant recipients. Must be treated very urgently which is why this group of patients are retained in hospital during the danger period of their treatment.More...
Chronic aspergillus infection of the sinuses. Still controversial but an increasingly accepted diagnosis.More...