Allergy Asthma Immunol Res.  2017 Mar;9(2):177-181. 10.4168/aair.2017.9.2.177.

Sputum Inflammatory Mediators Are Increased in Aspergillus fumigatus Culture-Positive Asthmatics

  • 1Institute for Lung Health, NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, Department of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK.
  • 2MedImmune Ltd, Milstein Building, Granta Park, Cambridge, UK.


Aspergillus fumigatus sensitization and culture in asthma are associated with disease severity and lung function impairment, but their relationship with airway inflammation is poorly understood. We investigated the profile of 24 sputum inflammatory mediators in A. fumigatus culture-positive or-negative moderate-to-severe asthmatics. Fifty-two subjects were recruited from a single center. A. fumigatus was cultured from 19 asthmatics. Asthma control, symptom score, lung function, and sputum cell count were not significantly different between the asthmatics with and without a positive A. fumigatus culture. All of the sputum mediators were numerically increased in subjects with a positive versus negative sputum A. fumigatus culture. Sputum TNF-R2 was significantly elevated (P=0.03) and the mediator that best distinguished A. fumigatus culture-positive from culture-negative subjects (receiver-operator characteristic area under the curve 0.66 [95% CI: 0.51 to 0.82, P=0.045]). A. fumigates-positive culture in moderate-to-severe asthma is associated with increased inflammatory sputum mediators.


Aspergillus fumigatus; asthma; cytokines profile; inflammatory mediators

MeSH Terms

Aspergillus fumigatus*
Cell Count
Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II
Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II


  • Figure Sputum TNF-R2 concentration (plotted on a log scale) in subjects with or without positive A. fumigatus culture.


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