Melissa Benoit

Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA)

 Aspergillus is a fungus that is commonly found in the environment. It can be inhaled into the lung where it usually does not cause any problems.  However, anywhere from 2-15% of people with CF can develop an allergic reaction to the Aspergillus in the lungs. This condition is called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis or ABPA.  The symptoms of ABPA are wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath, worsening lung function/exercise tolerance, blood in the sputum (hemoptysis), low grade fevers, or coughing up brown coloured mucous plugs. If you grow Aspergillus in your sputum sample this does not mean you have ABPA but your doctor can do other tests to check for this. It is important to tell your doctor if you are having any of the symptoms mentioned above to see whether you may have ABPA. ABPA can be treated but the therapy requires corticosteroids, rather than antibiotics and possibly an antifungal medication.