Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria “Città della Salute e della Scienza”, Torino - Ospedale Infantile “Regina Margherita”, Torino
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Key words: Dampness, Mold, Respiratory symptoms, Allergy
Scientific evidences showed indoor dampness to be associated consistently with increased asthma development, cough, bronchitis, allergic rhinitis and upper respiratory tract symptoms. Sufficient evidence exists for associating the presence of mould in damp buildings with respiratory exacerbations. Associations were found in allergic and nonallergic individuals, but causal links remain unclear. The 4 genera most commonly associated with the development of allergy are Alternaria, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. Fungi can actively germinate and colonise the respiratory tract and are sources of allergic proteins. Due to the poor quality of natural fungal allergen extracts, diagnosis of fungal allergy is hampered. Exposure and sensitization to fungal allergens can promote the development and worsening of allergic rhinitis. A patient with allergic fungal rhinosinusitis will present with a history of sinus disease strongly recalcitrant to traditional medical and even surgical therapy. There is current evidence to demonstrate a close association between fungal sensitisation and asthma severity. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis usually causes increased severity of asthma, transient infiltrates in the lungs, sputum production, elevated total IgE, immediate hypersensitivity to Aspergillus, and eosinophilia.
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