Environmental variables associated with an increased risk of invasive aspergillosis

C. Garcia-Vidal, C. Royo-Cebrecos, M. Peghin, A. Moreno, I. Ruiz-Camps, C. Cervera, J. Belmonte, C. Gudiol, M. Labori, E. Roselló, J. Puig de la Bellacasa, J. Ayats, J. Carratalà

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© 2014 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Information on the environmental variables that may affect the incidence of invasive aspergillosis (IA) is scarce. We sought to determine the relationship between airborne spore counts, climatic conditions and IA. We also examined whether circulating respiratory viruses predispose patients to IA in a multicentre cohort study of hospitalized adults with IA. Data on environmental mould spores, climatic conditions and circulating respiratory viruses were obtained from the Environmental Department of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the Meteorological Service of Catalonia and the Acute Respiratory Infection Surveillance Project in Catalonia, respectively. Between 2008 and 2011, 165 patients with IA were identified. Diagnosis was based on one or more of the following: culture (125 cases), galactomannan antigen (98) and histology (34). One hundred and twenty-seven cases (77%) had criteria for probable IA and the remainder for proven IA. Environmental mould spore counts from the period 28-42 days preceding infection presented significant associations with admissions due to IA. None of the climatic conditions were associated with an increased risk of IA, but the presence of circulating respiratory viruses was associated with a higher risk of infection: the most strongly associated viruses were respiratory syncytial virus, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and adenovirus. In conclusion, the presence of high numbers of spores in the air increases the risk of admission due to IA. Circulating respiratory viruses appear to be associated with a higher risk of developing IA. Physicians should be aware of this association in order to optimize prevention and diagnosis strategies for IA during viral epidemic periods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)O939-O945
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Airborne mould counts
  • Climatic conditions
  • Environmental variables
  • Invasive aspergillosis
  • Respiratory viruses


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