Invasive aspergillosis in primary immunodeficiencies


Almyroudis NG, Holland SM, Segal BH

Date: 7 September 2006


Primary immunodeficiencies are rare and usually first manifest during childhood. Invasive aspergillosis is the leading cause of mortality in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), reflecting the key role of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase in host defense against opportunistic fungi. Despite interferon-gamma prophylaxis, invasive filamentous fungal infections are a persistent problem in CGD. Key principles of management of fungal infections involve early recognition and aggressive treatment and appropriate surgical debridement of localized disease. Because CGD is a disorder of phagocyte stem cells in which the gene defects are well defined, it is a model disease to evaluate immune reconstitution through stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. Patients with the hyper-IgE syndrome with recurrent infections (Job syndrome) are prone to colonization of lung cavities (pneumatoceles) by Aspergillus species leading to local invasion and rarely disseminated infection. Other primary phagocytic disorders, T-cell disorders, and mitochondrial disorders are uncommonly associated with invasive aspergillosis. Taken together, these rare primary immunodeficiencies highlight the complex coordination of both innate and acquired pathways mediating host defense against Aspergillus infection.

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