Don’t forget other causes of wheeze. ABPA in a boy with asthma. A case report and review of the literature

Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergology and Neonatology, Hannover Medical school, Germany.
Acta Paediatrica (Impact Factor: 1.67). 02/2011; 100(2):307-10. DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01985.x
Source: PubMed


Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a rare pulmonary disorder caused by hypersensitivity to Aspergillus fumigatus. The prevalence is estimated to be about 1–2% in adult patients with asthma and 2–15% in patients with cystic fibrosis. In paediatric patients with asthma, only single case reports on ABPA exist. We report on a 13-year-old boy with allergic asthma complicated by ABPA. Despite the presentation of typical clinical symptoms, it took 6 years before he was diagnosed. The clinical course improved rapidly after ABPA therapy was started, and 12 months after diagnosis, the boy is still free of symptoms. Clinical symptoms of ABPA may be unspecific making a rapid diagnosis difficult in some cases.
Conclusion: A delay in diagnosis and treatment increases the risk for irreversible lung damage. Once bronchiectasis has developed, the outcome is unfavourable. Thus, ABPA has to be considered in patients whose asthma remains uncontrolled despite adequate therapy.

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    ABSTRACT: Incidence of fungal infections has increased alarmingly in past few decades. Of the fungal pathogens, the Aspergillus fumigatus has been a major cause of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) which has five main stages - the acute, remission, exacerbation, glucocorticoid dependent and fibrotic stage. The diagnosis of ABPA remains difficult due to its overlapping clinical and radiological features with tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis. From past few decades, the crude fractions of A. fumigatus have been used for immunodiagnosis of ABPA. Most of the detection kits based on crude fractions of A. fumigatus are quite sensitive but have low specificity. Till date 21 known and 25 predicted allergens of A. fumigatus have been identified. Of these allergens, only five recombinants (rAsp f1-f4 and f6) are commercially used for diagnosis of allergic aspergillosis. Remaining allergens of A. fumigatus have been restricted for use in specific diagnosis of ABPA, due to sharing of common antigenic epitopes with other allergens. Complete sequencing of A. fumigatus genome identified 9926 genes and the reports on the proteome of A. fumigatus have shown the presence of large number of their corresponding proteins in the pathogen. The analysis of immunoproteomes developed from crude fractions of A. fumigatus by IgG/IgE reactivity with ABPA patients and animal sera have identified the panel of new antigens. A brief description on the current status of A. fumigatus antigens is provided in this review. The implementation of advance recombinant expression and peptidomic approaches on the A. fumigatus antigens may help in the selection of appropriate molecules for the development of tools for more specific early diagnosis of ABPA, and desensitization therapies for patients of allergic disorders.
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