Fungal exposure is hypothesized (controversially) to contribute to asthma development and to trigger symptoms in patients with asthma. The ubiquity of environmental fungal exposure makes a careful review of evidence essential. Evidence that exposure to high concentrations of fungal spores, antigens, or metabolites is associated with asthma development is limited. However, because mechanisms of asthma genesis are poorly understood, so too are the mechanisms of this potential association. This association is not proof of causality. Stronger evidence supports the hypothesis that fungal exposure triggers symptoms in asthmatic individuals. Proposed mechanisms have been tested and correlations between exposure and symptoms demonstrated. Though some correlations remain speculative, controlled studies could test such hypotheses. Because asthma is common and fungal exposure is ubiquitous, it is surprising that asthmatics don’t have more symptoms when exposed to fungi. Fortunately, symptoms are dose dependent, creating an opportunity to develop clinically effective interventions. Given the right guidance, even patients with severe asthma can create healthy indoor environments.
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Portnoy, J.M., Barnes, C.S. & Kennedy, K. Importance of mold allergy in asthma. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 8, 71–78 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-008-0013-y
- Fungal Spore
- Allergy Clin Immunol
- Airborne Fungus