Purpose of review: Recent literature on Aspergillus fumigatus infection and allergy in cystic fibrosis have expanded our understanding of many aspects of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and bring new attention to A. fumigatus airways infection and A. fumigatus allergy without allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA).
Recent findings: ABPA, A. fumigatus infection and A. fumigatus allergy without ABPA all likely worsen cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Studies examining utility of new serologic assays for diagnosing ABPA include evaluations of standardized measurement of A. fumigatus-specific IgG, serum chemokine TARC levels, and recombinant A. fumigatus allergens; as yet, none appear ideal. Although oral glucocorticoids remain primary therapy, toxicity and incomplete control have led to an ongoing search for further safe and effective agents including itraconazole and voriconazole, intravenous pulse methylprednisolone, nebulized amphotericin B and omalizumab. Little controlled treatment data is available.
Summary: Diagnosis of CF-ABPA remains difficult, but improvements in serologic assays are occurring. Treatment remains in many cases unsatisfactory, and new agents offer promise but await proper controlled trials of safety and efficacy. A. fumigatus airway infection and A. fumigatus allergy without ABPA are emerging as further complications of A. fumigatus respiratory colonization in patients with CF, but prospective studies are needed to corroborate largely retrospective findings.