Aspergillosis: Airborne Fungal Spores Cause Widespread Illness

Artistic Rendition of the airborne fungus Aspergillus Famigatus, which can lead to antifungal resistance and fungal infections.
“Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common and life-threatening airborne opportunistic fungal pathogen.”

Did you know that fungal infections like Candida auris and Aspergillosis kill more than 1.5 million and affect over a billion more people each year? When individuals breathe the airborne fungal spores into their lungs, the fungus is able to grow rapidly due to the ideal temperature inside the human body. The growing mold becomes resilient to oxidation, develops resistance to antifungals, and usually affects people with reduced immune defense.

Aspergillosis is an infection or allergic reaction caused by the different Aspergillus fungus types. There are over 250,000 aspergillosis cases every year in countries across the world, and they are associated with many deaths. The Aspergillus fungus has many different types including Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus versicolor. Aspergillosis is an umbrella term that is used to describe a wide variety of pulmonary, sinus, and bronchial infections and diseases caused by Aspergillus fungus.

Illnesses Caused by Aspergillus

There are many different illnesses caused by Aspergillus including:

  • Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) – potentially progressive disease caused by Aspergillus colonization of respiratory system
  • Invasive aspergillosis – disseminated infection that affects patients with weakened immune system
  • Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis (CPA) – uncommon, progressive deconstructive lung disease
  • Simple aspergilloma – morphological appearance of fungal ball that occurs in pre-existing cavity
  • Allergic Fungal Sinusitis (AFS) – common fungal infection of sinuses
  • Cutaneous aspergillosis – infection by the fungus of the skin

Exposure to Aspergillus

Mold spores are a constant part of our environment and cannot be completely avoided. Exposure to Aspergillus fungus types can occur from:

  • Compost piles
  • Stored grain
  • Dead leaves
  • Air conditioning/heating ducts
  • Decaying vegetation
  • Certain foods and spices
  • Construction sites or building renovation sites
  • Insulating materials (walls, ceilings, and water cylinders)

Symptoms and Treatment of Aspergillosis

Different forms of Aspergillosis have different symptoms (similar to COVID strains that have both shared and unique symptoms,) but some common symptoms may include:

  • Pain in chest and bones
  • Pneumonia
  • Vision difficulties
  • Blood in urine
  • Less urine
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Cough with sputum production
  • Blood in sputum
  • Skin sores
  • Weight loss

As far as treatment of Aspergillosis, a common practice is the use of antifungal compounds like antifungal drugs and surgery. These work in tandem to treat the infection and stop potential bleeding in the lungs.

Prevention Measures

Aspergillus cannot be completely avoided. Spores are a constant in the environment and airborne transmission is the most common vector for infection. While complete aversion isn’t practical, there are many different tactics that can help reduce the risk of exposure and transmission.

  • Avoid places where Aspergillus spores are abundant
  • Keep household environment and furniture surfaces clean, dust-free, and dry
  • Avoid skin injuries – keep open wounds cleaned and covered
  • Ensure good hygiene to boost immune support
  • Avoid certain food items - such as spices and herbs

Aspergillosis is a pressing issue. Especially as 19% of A. fumigatus infections are becoming increasingly resistant to azole antifungals. To minimize the harmful effects of Aspergillosis, fungi must be removed indoors and prevented from future growth. Fungal colonization in homes, schools, or offices must be identified and properly treated. Without mold treatment, cases of Aspergillosis will become exacerbated as will the potential for antifungal resistance.

So, how can mold spores be eliminated indoors to create protected spaces? The short answer is that mold can’t be fully eliminated without extensive or complete demolition of the affected area; however, it can be reduced and neutralized by ActivePure® Technology. Our technology has been proven to reduce 99.9% of airborne black mold spores within 30 minutes. It also reduces odors, which are a prominent indication of poor indoor air quality. Learn more about the different types of fungus that cause Aspergillosis below.

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