Aspergillus

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Submitted By akpena
Words 775
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Aspergillus
Microbiology
De La Cruz
May 27, 2014 Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a fungus whose spores are commonly found in the environment, and can also be found in household dust, building materials and some foods. There are numerous types, but the more common ones include Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus niger. For healthy people, this does not cause harm, the immune system is able to get rid of the spores. But for people with weakened immune systems, breathing in these spores can lead to infection. Studies have shown that Invasive Aspergillosis can occur during building renovation or construction. Outbreaks of Aspergillus skin infections have been traced to contaminated biomedical devices. Aspergillosis cannot be spread from person to person or between people and animals, and because it is not a reportable infection, the exact incidence is difficult to determine.

Aspergillus mostly targets the respiratory system. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), is a condition where the fungus causes respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing, but does not actually invade and destroy tissues. It can affect people who are otherwise healthy, but it is most common in people with asthma or cystic fibrosis. Invasive aspergillosis generally affects people who have weakened immune systems, such as those who have had a bone marrow transplant or solid organ transplant, are on high doses of corticosteroids, those on chemotherapy, or those with HIV. It most commonly affects the lungs, but can also cause infection in many other organs and can spread throughout the body. In this condition, the fungus invades and damages tissues in the body causing fever, chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and Aspergilloma or “fungus ball”. It is difficult to avoid breathing in…...

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