Sensitization to Aspergillus fumigatus increased the risk for severe asthma and exposure to A fumigatus and Penicillium spp was associated with increased impairment of lung function regardless of sensitization, according to the results of a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The investigators tested 64 patients diagnosed with asthma according to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines for sensitivity to A. fumigatus, A. alternata, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Cladosporium herbarum. A study team conducted home mold exposure evaluations in the dwellings of 23 cases and 18 controls.

Mold-sensitized patients had higher total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) concentrations and a higher degree of broncho-obstruction as indicated by FEV1/FVC. Patients who had major sensitization to A. fumigatus were more likely to have severe asthma than controls (50% vs 15.6%).