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paraboy Views: 8,593
Published: 9 years ago
 

Asthma could be a lung fungus


I'm sure emphysema would be similar, but maybe with different fungi.

 

Asthma sufferers have more lung fungi

Having established the presence of fungi in the lungs of patients with asthma, researchers now hope this could lead to new lines of research and eventually, better treatments for sufferers. "In the future it is conceivable that individual patients may have their sputum tested for fungi and their treatment adjusted accordingly," says Hugo van Woerden of Cardiff University. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Straight from the Source

Read the original study

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-69

“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.

Results

A total of 136 fungal species were identified in the induced sputum samples, with 90 species more common in asthma patients and 46 species more common in control subjects. Psathyrella candolleana, Malassezia pachydermatis, Termitomyces clypeatus and Grifola sordulenta showed a higher percentage of reads in the sputum of asthma patients and Eremothecium sinecaudum, Systenostrema alba, Cladosporium cladosporioides and Vanderwaltozyma polyspora showed a higher percentage of reads in the sputum of control subjects. A statistically significant difference in the pattern of fungi that were present in the respective samples was demonstrated using the Phylogenetic (P) test (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion

This study is novel in providing evidence for the widespread nature of fungi in the sputum of healthy and asthmatic individuals. Differences in the pattern of fungi present in asthma patients and controls merit further investigation. Of particular interest was the presence of Malassezia pachydermatis, which is known to be associated with atopic dermatitis.

Source: Cardiff University

 

http://www.futurity.org/top-stories/asthma-sufferers-have-more-lung-fungi/

 

 
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