Aspergillosis is a condition caused by aspergillus mould. There are several different types of aspergillosis. Most affect the lungs and cause breathing difficulties.
Aspergillosis is usually caused by inhaling tiny bits of mould. The mould is found in lots of places, including:
You cannot catch aspergillosis from someone else or from animals.
Most people who breathe in the mould do not get ill.
You're usually only at risk of aspergillosis if you have:
Symptoms of aspergillosis include:
If you already have a lung condition, your existing symptoms may get worse.
Get an urgent GP appointment if you cough up blood. Call 111 if you cannot see your GP.
Your GP will check for an obvious cause of your symptoms, like a chest infection or asthma.
If they're not sure what the problem is, they may refer you to a specialist for tests such as:
Treatment usually helps control the symptoms. If it's not treated or well controlled, there's a risk it could damage your lungs.
|Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) – an allergy to aspergillus mould||steroid tablets and antifungal tablets for a few months (possibly longer)|
|Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) – a long-term lung infection||long-term (possibly lifelong) treatment with antifungal tablets|
|Aspergilloma – a ball of mould in the lungs, often linked to CPA||surgery to remove the ball if it's causing symptoms|
|Invasive pulmonary aspergillus (IPA) – a life-threatening infection in people with a weakened immune system||antifungal medicine given directly into a vein in hospital|
It's almost impossible to completely avoid aspergillus mould.
But there are things you can do to reduce your risk of aspergillosis if you have a lung condition or weakened immune system.
You can find out more about aspergillosis on the Support for People with Aspergillosis website.
Page last reviewed: Sat Jan 2021 Next review due: Sat Jan 2021