Acute community-acquired pneumonia due to Aspergillus in presumably immunocompetent hosts: clues for recognition of a rare but fatal disease

Chest. 1998 Aug;114(2):629-34. doi: 10.1378/chest.114.2.629.


This article reports a case of acute community-acquired pneumonia due to Aspergillus fumigatus in a healthy patient and reviews 11 previously reported cases occurring in presumably immunocompetent hosts. The diagnosis was delayed for all patients; mortality was 100%. Clues that might suggest Aspergillus as a pathogen in community-acquired pneumonia include a chest radiograph revealing diffuse infiltrates or new cavitation; lack of bacterial or viral cause; a preceding influenza A infection; and respiratory secretion cultures positive for Aspergillus. When these clues are present, the physician should consider an early biopsy of lung tissue. Increased recognition and more timely diagnosis in future cases will improve the outcome of this rare but fatal infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aspergillosis / complications*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / isolation & purification*
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections / diagnosis
  • Community-Acquired Infections / etiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Infant
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia / etiology*
  • Pneumonia / microbiology
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies