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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 619614, 17 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/619614
Research Article

The Impact of Aspergillus fumigatus Viability and Sensitization to Its Allergens on the Murine Allergic Asthma Phenotype

Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA

Received 23 April 2013; Accepted 1 July 2013

Academic Editor: Ludger Klimek

Copyright © 2013 Sumali Pandey et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitously present respiratory pathogen. The outcome of a pulmonary disease may vary significantly with fungal viability and host immune status. Our objective in this study was (1) to assess the ability of inhaled irradiation-killed or live A. fumigatus spores to induce allergic pulmonary disease and (2) to assess the extent to which inhaled dead or live A. fumigatus spores influence pulmonary symptoms in a previously established allergic state. Our newly developed fungal delivery apparatus allowed us to recapitulate human exposure through repeated inhalation of dry fungal spores in an animal model. We found that live A. fumigatus spore inhalation led to a significantly increased humoral response, pulmonary inflammation, and airway remodeling in naïve mice and is more likely to induce allergic asthma symptoms than the dead spores. In contrast, in allergic mice, inhalation of dead and live conidia recruited neutrophils and induced goblet cell metaplasia. This data suggests that asthma symptoms might be exacerbated by the inhalation of live or dead spores in individuals with established allergy to fungal antigens, although the extent of symptoms was less with dead spores. These results are likely to be important while considering fungal exposure assessment methods and for making informed therapeutic decisions for mold-associated diseases.