Marijuana and fungal infection.


Schwartz IS.
Am J Clin Pathol. 1985 Aug;84(2):256.


To the Editor:—The review of fungal sinusitis by Morgan and co-workers in the November issue of the Journal (1984; 82:597-601) describes six patients, three of whom had serious underlying immunologic impairment. The other three had no concurrent illness except for one patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and alcoholism. The authors, in their review of mycotic sinusitis occurring in immunocompetent individuals, did not mention the association of respiratory tract fungal infection with the use of contaminated marijuana. That this association is most likely causal in nature was amply demonstrated by several observers, as documented by Kagen in 1981.' He refers to two studies that showed that marijuana contaminated by Aspergillus sp. was associated with bronchopulmonary and pulmonary aspergillosis. Kagen found that 11 of 12 marijuana samples contained aspergillus organisms and that the spores passed easily through contaminated cigarettes. In addition, 11 of 21 marijuana smokers who were tested had precipitins against aspergillus antigens as compared with only 1 of 10 controls.