Checking the lungs of COPD and bronchiectasis patients for a component of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is a good way to see whether they have the infection, a study reports.

In fact, it’s better than another commonly used method, researchers said.

The study, which dealt with levels of galactomannan in the lungs, appeared in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. The title of the article was “Aspergillus fumigatus Detection and Risk Factors in Patients with COPD–Bronchiectasis Overlap,”

Scientists say the main cause of COPD, a common lung disorder, is inhaling pollutants such as cigarette smoke for a long time.