Aspergillus fumigatus is commonly found in the respiratory secretions of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Although allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is associated with deterioration of lung function, the effects of A. fumigatus colonization on lung function in the absence of ABPA are not clear. This study was performed in 259 adults and children with CF, without ABPA. A. fumigatus colonization was defined as positivity of >50% of respiratory cultures in a given year. A cross-sectional analysis was performed to study clinical characteristics associated with A. fumigatus colonization. A retrospective cohort analysis was performed to study the effect of A. fumigatus colonization on lung function observed between 2002 and 2007. Longitudinal data were analysed with a linear mixed model. Sixty-one of 259 patients were at least intermittently colonized with A. fumigatus. An association was found between A. fumigatus colonization and increased age and use of inhaled antibiotics. In the longitudinal analysis, 163 patients were grouped according to duration of colonization. After adjustment for confounders, there was no significant difference in lung function between patients colonized for 0 or 1 year and patients with 2-3 or more than 3 years of colonization (p 0.40 and p 0.64) throughout the study. There was no significant difference in lung function decline between groups. Although colonization with A. fumigatus is more commonly found in patients with more severe lung disease and increased treatment burden, it is not independently associated with lower lung function or more severe lung function decline over a 5-year period.
© 2010 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2010 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.