Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a type of mold. The illnesses resulting from aspergillosis infection usually affect the respiratory system, but their signs and severity vary greatly. Aspergillosis is primarily an infection of the lungs caused by the inhalation of airborne spores of the fungus Aspergillus. Spores are the small particles that most fungi use to reproduce.
Although virtually everyone is exposed to this fungus in their daily environment, it rarely causes disease. When Aspergillus does cause disease, however, it usually occurs in those individuals with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised) or who have a history of respiratory ailments.Invasive aspergillosis needs to be treated with prescription antifungal medication, usually voriconazole.
There are other medications that can be used to treat invasive aspergillosis in patients who can’t take voriconazole or whose infections don’t get better after taking voriconazole. These include itraconazole, lipid amphotericin formulations, caspofungin, micafungin, and posaconazole. Whenever possible, immunosuppressive medications should be discontinued or decreased. People who have severe cases of aspergillosis may need surgery.