Fungal respiratory disease

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Purpose of review

Fungal respiratory disease is associated with a high mortality in immunocompromised patients. This review aims to describe the recent advances in the aetiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and management of fungal respiratory disease.

Recent findings

Invasive aspergillosis is an uncommon complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplants and solid-organ transplants but continues to be associated with poor outcome. Isolation of Aspergillus spp. from respiratory samples preceded acute rejection in lung-transplantation recipients. Molecular typing suggested that there was a very weak correlation between the environmental and patient isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Serological and molecular detection of Aspergillus antigens or fungal DNA may improve the diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis, but the sensitivity is variable and more studies are needed. Voriconazole and caspofungin are choice to Aspergillus and Candida infection, especially to azole-resistant Candida spp. Treatment combining amphotericin B preparations, early surgical resection of infected tissue and discontinuation of immunosuppressive treatment may improve prognosis of mucormycosis.


Invasive filamentaous fungal infections of lung remain important causes of death in immunocompromised patients. Development of new early diagnostic tools and well-designed multicenter evaluations of diagnostic methods and therapeutic regimens available at present are the important work in the next 2–3 years.

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