The presence of Aspergillus fumigatus is associated with worse respiratory quality of life in cystic fibrosis

Gina Hong, Kevin Alby, Sharon C.W. Ng, Victoria Fleck, Christina Kubrak, Ronald C. Rubenstein, Daniel J. Dorgan, Steven M. Kawut, Denis Hadjiliadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: The clinical effects of Aspergillus fumigatus in the cystic fibrosis (CF) airway, with the exception of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, is unclear. Methods: CF adolescents and adults (age 14 years and older) underwent bacterial and semi-selective fungal culture testing to determine the prevalence of fungi in the CF respiratory tract and the independent association between the presence of Aspergillus fumigatus and clinical characteristics. Results: Aspergillus fumigatus (10.3%) and Candida species (57.8%) were the most common filamentous fungi and yeast seen respectively in the sputa of 206 individuals with CF. Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) use was more common in Aspergillus fumigatus-positive than Aspergillus fumigatusnegative (100% versus 75.8%, p = .01). Aspergillus fumigatus was significantly associated with lower respiratory domain score (β −8.74, 95% CI −16.6, −0.88, p = .03), representing worse respiratory-related quality of life, accounting for demographics, disease characteristics, and the presence of a pulmonary exacerbation. Conclusion: The presence of Aspergillus fumigatus in CF sputum was associated with worse respiratory quality of life in CF in a crosssectional, single center study. Longitudinal analysis examining the clinical implications of Aspergillus fumigatus on respiratory health over time is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Fungi
  • Health-related quality of life


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