RATIONALE: Environmental exposure to a variety of factors leads to hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The exact etio-pathogenesis of many of them is still not established. Therefore, the strength of cause and effect relationship of hypersensitivity pneumonitis mainly depends upon the source and type of exposure. Dug-wells are used throughout the word for irrigation and other purposes. We analyzed the cases who presented with a history of exposure to dug-well environment and respiratory ailment along with infiltration on chest radiographs. METHODS: From July 2007 to June 2010, five cases were identified retrospectively to have given history of exposure to dug-well environment and had infiltrations in chest radiographs. Two dug-wells were available for environmental studies. Open-plate culture and soil dilution methods were used to identify fungal agents present in these wells. RESULTS: Five cases with history of exposure to dug-well were identified. Subacute hypersensitivity pneumonitis was diagnosed in four patients. One patient presented with chronic respiratory illness and radiographic features consistent with chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Culture grew Aspergillus fumigatus in both the studied wells. CONCLUSIONS: Dug-well may be a potential cause of both short and long term respiratory illness. Aspergillus species is one of the most common organisms present in dug-wells and can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis and other respiratory illnesses. Farmers, plumbers and electricians, who have to enter the wells, are at significant risk of disease. Thus, farmers and public health personnel should be made aware of this potential health hazard.
Full conference title:
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
- AAAAI 2012 (68th)