Bronchiectasis and Aspergillus: How are they linked?

Med Mycol. 2017 Jan 1;55(1):69-81. doi: 10.1093/mmy/myw109. Epub 2016 Oct 28.


Bronchiectasis is a chronic airway infection syndrome, distinct from cystic fibrosis that is rising in prevalence and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It can be caused by many etiologies including post-infectious effects or be seen in common lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or severe asthma. Bronchiectasis is associated with many Aspergillus-associated syndromes: allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) may complicate asthma, thus leading to bronchiectasis as part of the diagnostic criteria of ABPA or can complicate preexisting bronchiectasis due to another etiology. Aspergilloma can develop in areas of lung damage seen in patients with bronchiectasis, whereas fungal bronchitis may lead to later bronchiectasis. Invasive aspergillosis, perhaps more commonly viewed as a consequence of significant immunosuppression, is also seen in the absence of immunosuppression in those with underlying lung diseases including bronchiectasis. The pathogenesis and treatments of these diverse Aspergillus-associated diseases in bronchiectasis are discussed.

Keywords: Asthma; COPD; aspergillus; bronchiectasis; invasive aspergillosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus / growth & development*
  • Bronchiectasis / complications*
  • Bronchiectasis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / complications*
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / therapy