Scientists: Asthma Sufferers Often Have Garden Mold Growing on Lungs

A common garden mold that causes an allergic reaction in asthmatics might actually be growing in sufferers’ lungs, British scientists claimed.

Researchers at the University of Leicester said Tuesday they made the discovery during research into the impact on asthmatics of the mold, Aspergillus fumigates, usually found in soil and compost heaps.

"Our study showed that six out of 10 people with asthma who were allergic to A. fumigatus grew the mold from their sputum. We also found that if you were allergic to A. fumigatus, you had more narrowing of the airways than if you were not allergic, and this was worse in patients from whom A. fumigatus was grown," said professor Andy Wardlaw, who helped conduct the research.

The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, concluded it was possible that a fixed narrowing of breathing tubes in many people with asthma could be caused by A. fumigatus growing in their lungs.

"Treating individuals from whom A. fumigatus is detected with antibiotics against the mold may prevent fixed narrowing of the airways," Wadlaw said.