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Mycopathologia. 2013 Oct;176(3-4):287-94. doi: 10.1007/s11046-013-9690-8. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Pulmonary aspergillosis and aflatoxins in chronic lung diseases.

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Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India,


Fungal infections of lung have become increasingly common during the last few decades. Aspergillosis and the role of aflatoxins in various chronic lung diseases have not been extensively studied. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples and sera from 40 patients of chronic lung diseases were analyzed for galactomannan antigen (GM) and aflatoxin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Direct microscopy and culture of BAL samples were also done to detect the Aspergillus species. Results revealed that 15 (37.5 %) of the 40 patients had growth of Aspergillus on BAL culture. Out of these culture-positive cases, 13 (86.7 %) patients were positive for galactomannan antigen also. About 62.5 % cases did not show growth of Aspergillus in BAL culture. However, galactomannan antigen could be detected in 20 % of these patients. Overall, 20 % patients were diagnosed as proven invasive fungal disease (IFD), 32.5 % were of probable IFD, 17.5 % of possible IFD. Aspergillus growth was observed in 100 % of proven and 53.8 % of probable IFD cases. Galactomannan antigen was found in 100 % cases of proven and 76.9 % of probable IFD. Ten (25 %) patients were found to be positive for aflatoxins. It was detected in 6 (40 %) of culture-positive cases. About 62.5 % of the cases with proven IFD and 46.1 % of probable IFD had aflatoxin in their samples. Aflatoxin positivity was found to be more in patients with proven IFD than in probable IFD, and higher level of aflatoxins was detected in cases with proven IFD. Significant difference was observed in aflatoxin positivity among food grain workers when compared to other occupations.

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