The measurement of IgM antibodies against Aspergillus fumigatus is used for the laboratory investigation of pulmonary aspergillosis.
The fungus Aspergillus belongs to the Ascomycetes group. These organisms develop branched mycelia and spread through the highly resistant spores released by the mycelia. About 20 species of Aspergillus are pathogenic to humans as opportunistic infectious agents. The most common pathogen of the genus Aspergillus is Aspergillus fumigatus, which is often found in hay, stored cereals, degraded plants, and bird feces. In general, infections with Aspergillus species are transmitted by airborne fungi. Due to the presence of Aspergillus species everywhere in the environment, it is difficult to distinguish contaminations from serious infections.
Usually, Aspergillus infections in humans occur only in already damaged tissues. Aspergillus can cause chronic infections of the sinuses, eyes, or lungs. Three types of pulmonary aspergillosis can be distinguished: acute infection (bronchopulmonary pneumonia), saprophytic aspergillosis (solid hyphae network in the lungs), and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (with the involvement of IgE immunoglobulin).
The pathogenesis of invasive pulmonary infection with Aspergillus occurs in several stages: The fungal spores are transmitted through the air and absorbed by the lungs. Due to their size (about 3 µm), they reach the lung cells. In the case of invasive aspergillosis, fungal hyphae penetrate the bronchial mucosa and surrounding pulmonary parenchyma with the help of certain enzymes (proteinases). Aspergillus spores tend to penetrate the blood vessels and settle into distant tissues hematogenously.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
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