Exoantigens of Aspergillus Fumigatus: Serodiagnosis and Virulence

  • J. P. Latgé
  • S. Paris
  • J. Sarfati
  • J. P. Debeaupuis
  • M. Monod
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 69)


Aspergillus fumigatus commonly grows in damp environments such as soil, decaying vegetation and organic debris from which it releases a high number of spores into the atmosphere (Raper and Fennell, 1965). The number of A. fumigatus conidia present in the air usually varies from 0.1 to 10 spores/m3, but may reach 106/m3 under certain environmental conditions (Mullins et al., 1976; Bodey and Vartivarian, 1989; Gumowski et al., 1992). Due to their small size (2–3 μm) and presence in the air, A. fumigatus conidia are inhaled by all individuals and transit through the upper respiratory tract, bronchia and bronchiola to end in the alveoli (Cole and Samson, 1984). The pulmonary epithelium is the largest epithelial surface exposed to the external environment (40–80 m2/individual). It possesses several lines of defence capable of expelling A. fumigatus from the lung (Seaton et al., 1989). Impairment of these defence mechanisms can lead to the establishment of the fungus in the lung. This impairment can be of genetical (cystic fibrosis, chronic granulomatous disease) or clinical origin (tuberculosis, chemo- and corticotherapy) (Cohen et al., 1981; Wagner, 1984; Schönheyder et al, 1988; Bodey and Vartivarian, 1989; Cohen, 1991). There are three clinical manifestations of A. fumigatus infections: 1) allergie bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) resulting from repeated inhalation of conidia with limited fungal growth; 2) aspergilloma where colonisation of a pre-existing pulmonary cavity forms a fungal ball; 3) invasive pulmonary aspergillosis where A. fumigatus invades lung parenchyma and disseminates to other organs.


Cystic Fibrosis Lung Tissue Invasive Aspergillosis Aspergillus Fumigatus Chronic Granulomatous Disease 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Latgé
    • 1
  • S. Paris
    • 1
  • J. Sarfati
    • 1
  • J. P. Debeaupuis
    • 1
  • M. Monod
    • 2
  1. 1.MycologieInstitut PasteurParisFrance
  2. 2.DermatologieCHUVLausanneSwitzerland

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