Aspergillosis Causes

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Aspergillosis is a condition caused by Aspergillus, an infectious mold. Aspergillus is a type of fungus found abundantly around us (indoors as well as outdoors). In individuals with healthy immune systems, the intake of this mold by breathing does not cause disease. However, in people with compromised immune systems, there is a high risk of developing aspergillosis due to inhalation of Aspergillus.

Aspergillosis is categorized into various types such as allergic Aspergillus sinusitis, chronic pulmonary aspergillosis, aspergilloma (also known as “fungus ball”), allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), and invasive aspergillosis. The majority of these are characterized by respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, and runny nose. Blood in sputum, weight loss, and chest pain are also seen in some cases.

Black mold fungi Aspergillus which produce aflatoxins and cause pulmonary infection aspergillosis. 3D illustration. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock
Black mold fungi Aspergillus which produce aflatoxins and cause pulmonary infection aspergillosis. 3D illustration. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock

In order to be able to treat the condition effectively, it is essential to understand the etiology of the disease.

Jacqueline: Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis

Causes and Risk Factors

Exposure to Aspergillus spores in combination with a weak immune response is the root cause for the infection to take root. In healthy people, the immune system combats and destroys the mold spores effectively. This mechanism is compromised in people with various risk factors.

Individuals who are on immunosuppressant medications, especially after an organ transplant procedure, have a weakened immune response. Similarly, patients in the advanced stages of AIDS are also an easy target for opportunistic infections like aspergillosis. The extended use of corticosteroids is also associated with a poor immune defense. Depending on the other medications used concomitantly, and the type of underlying disease, the risk of opportunistic infections varies.

Lymphocytes, the white cells that play a major role in the natural defense mechanism of the body, usually fight the establishment of the infectious organisms within the body. However, in patients with certain vascular disorders such as chronic granulomatous disease, and some inherited genetic conditions that cause defects in lymphocyte function, the risk of developing aspergillosis rises substantially. Invasive aspergillosis is typically observed in individuals with compromised immunity.

Coexisting pulmonary conditions may further add to the odds of developing aspergillosis. In patients with chronic cystic fibrosis or asthma, the mold spores are likely to trigger an allergic response. Such patients are prone to developing ABPA.

Also in individuals with conditions like pulmonary tuberculosis or radiation damage to the alveoli, the air cavities in the lungs provide room for the accumulation of fungal fibers (the condition commonly referred to as “aspergilloma”).

Patients with other lung disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also often develop chronic pulmonary aspergillosis.

The fact that unlike many other microbial infections, aspergillosis is non-contagious, prevents this serious ailment from becoming an epidemic disease. It also precludes the need for isolation of the affected individuals. Physicians treat the aspergillosis patients on an individual basis, taking into account their medical history, comorbidities, and the type and severity of their infection.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2022


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Patel, HH. (2022, December 29). Aspergillosis Causes. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 23, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Patel, HH. "Aspergillosis Causes". News-Medical. 23 April 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Patel, HH. "Aspergillosis Causes". News-Medical. (accessed April 23, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Patel, HH. 2022. Aspergillosis Causes. News-Medical, viewed 23 April 2024,


  1. Pelin Sezer Pelin Sezer Turkey says:

    I am really concerned about getting deadly diseases indoors and I always cough these days.I’m sure I don’t have any lung disease,it’s pure psychogenic.And I have a strong immune system.But anxiety gives me coughing and pneumonia sometimes.Do I have the risk?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the fungal infection hospitalization rates?