Skip to comments.Asthma sufferers have more lung fungi
Posted on 02/27/2013 1:21:04 PM PST by neverdem
CARDIFF U. (UK) Healthy lungs are full of fungi, but some species are more common in people with asthma, new research finds.
Hundreds of tiny fungal particles found in the lungs of asthma sufferers could offer new clues in the development of new treatments, according to a team of scientists.
“Historically, the lungs were thought to be sterile,” according to Hugo van Woerden from Cardiff University’s Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, who led the research.
“Our analysis found that there are large numbers of fungi present in healthy human lungs. The study also demonstrates that asthma patients have a large number of fungi in their lungs and that the species of fungi are quite different to those present in the lungs of healthy individuals,” he adds.
By examining the mucus or sputum of patients with and without asthma, the team found some 136 different fungal species with 90 fungal species more common in asthma patients and 46 were more common in healthy individuals.
Having established the presence of fungi in the lungs of patients with asthma, the researchers now hope this could lead to new lines of research and eventually, better treatments for sufferers.
“Establishing the presence of fungi in the lungs of patients with asthma could potentially open up a new field of research which brings together molecular techniques for detecting fungi and developing treatments for asthma.
“In the future it is conceivable that individual patients may have their sputum tested for fungi and their treatment adjusted accordingly,” he adds.
This is not the first time the Cardiff researchers have made the link between fungi and asthma. Their previous research found that by removing fungi from people’s homes, they could also help improve life for sufferers.
The journal BMC Infectious Diseases published findings from the most recent study.
Source: Cardiff University
Could using steroids promote the differences in fungal flora? I wouldn't be surprised. They are a known risk factor for fungal infections.
P.S. From the source code:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plate_culture_of_Exserohilum_rostratum_PHIL_3786_lores.jpg, so that image is Exserohilum rostratum in a petri dish.
Plus damp moldy environments are a known trigger for asthma.
I’m self employed in the business of testing for and remediating mold (among other things)
I could have told them about this link years ago.
I don’t know how many times I have had customers
tell me about someone (usually children) in their home who had RECENTLY developed Asthma, and they wanted to test
for mold as a result.
In most cases (if not all) I found HIGH concentrations of
mold in the home through air testing.
Mold problems in the home are typically the result of
months or years of neglected issues such as dirty air
vents, heavily soiled/old carpet, and water damage that
was not quickly/properly remediated.
The big three: Carpets, HVAC system, Crawl Spaces
Thats where I always look first.
Ok, so what can / should a home owner due to reduce their chances of mold?
98% of sinusitis is fungal, not bacterial. Just sayin...
>>> Ok, so what can / should a home owner due to reduce their chances of mold?
The best way to reduce the chances of having a mold problem
is aggressively searching for sources of moisture.
Mold requires food, heat, moisture, and time to proliferate.
Since most homes have an abundant source of food and heat,
controlling moisture is the key.
Condensation and other hidden moisture issues (crawl space) are the most prevalent causes of problems that go undetected.
1. Make sure your attic and crawl space are well ventilated. Make sure these areas remain bone dry.
2. Search for any signs of previous water damage in the home.
3. Thoroughly check the HVAC system for dust/dirt buildup.
Be very careful about who you pay to clean your HVAC system.
Many companies will just come in with a rotobrush and simply make matters worse because they don’t scope their work (use video camera), they cannot or don’t reach all areas of duct systems, and they completely ignore the core part of the system (furnace/coils/blower) because they are not licenced heating/air specialists. If your HVAC system has a problem, that blower is going to have to be removed along with the coil and washed thoroughly.
(sticking a brush hose down your vents a ways doesn’t cut it!)
4. Check the crawl space for signs of mold issues:
a) smooth dirt floor with large cracks may indicate previous flooding
b) Insulation around ducts in crawl space will show visible mold if condensation has taken place
c) Check subfloors around plumbing areas for signs of water damage
5. Check the age and condition of your carpets. If you installed your carpets, and you know there was never a water loss, and they have been kept clean, then they shouldn’t be an issue. If your carpet is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it. Carpet’s job is to trap and hide dirt. Dirt is a viable food source for mold, and contains most of the spores it needs to get things started.
If you are not sure about the condition of the carpet, pull back a corner and look at the backing. Is it brittle? discolored? old water stains? Lots of dirt underneath and in padding?
6. Finally, if you suspect you might have an issue, or if your experiencing allergenic symptoms, have your home tested by a reputable mold inspection company that uses non-viable spore trap analysis (air samples) to determine
what elevations exist if any. Dont waste your money on store bought mold test kits. They only alert you to the presence of mold which is EVERYWHERE all the time.
What you need is a comparative analysis between indoor air and outdoor air.
Hope this helps.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Causation of correlation? Asthma sufferers treat asthma with corticosteroids, suppressing immune response. This can allow for infection.
I’ll go with causation. It’s a predictable adverse effect, at least in a population using steroids daily.