What is the Link Between Mold and Cystic Fibrosis?

What is the Link Between Mold and Cystic Fibrosis?
Recently there was a news report that found approximately 50 percent of cystic fibrosis patients were also infected by Aspergillus fungus, caused by exposure to mold.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF), first described by Dorothy Hansine Andersen, is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestine. The name cystic fibrosis refers to the characteristic scarring (fibrosis) and cyst formation within the pancreas. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated with antibiotics and other medications. Other symptoms, include sinus infections, poor growth, and infertility.
Research, conducted by Jo Armstead, a medical student at Manchester University, found that there are over 75,000 people, both afflicted with CF and who also suffer from an aspergillus fungal infection.
This research highlights the dangers of mold. Aspergillosis causes airway infections, bronchitis, and the allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) allergy, which starts in childhood and reaches a peak in late teenage years. Treatment involves anti fungal therapy or oral steroids, however, neither treatment has been shown to be very effective, as anti fungal resistance to these treatment types continues to be an issue for clinicians.
According to Professor Denning, Director of the NHS National Aspergillosis Center:
“The life expectancy of people with CF has been increasing, but aspergillosis has a major negative impact on many.”
Aspergillus is a common mold and readily found outdoors. CF patients need to be aware that their condition can worsen if they are living, working, or going to school in a building that has suffered moisture damage because this could expose them to high levels of aspergillus spores.
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