KWIZERA Richard | Aspergillus sensitization and asthma in Uganda

KWIZERA Richard studied the burden of fungal asthma caused by Aspergillus fumigatus in patients from Mulago Hospital, where the frequency of severe asthma remains of significant public health importance. His study review revealed that fungal asthma is a significant problem in Uganda and Africa, but there remains a paucity of data on the epidemiology and associated complications. The Aspergillus point-of-care test demonstrated a poor diagnostic performance for the diagnosis of both allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis and severe asthma with fungal sensitization. He also found a high prevalence of Aspergillus fumigatus skin positivity in apparently healthy non-atopic individuals in Uganda. These data inform clinicians who provide care to asthma patients to consider fun- gal asthma as a major differential diagnosis among those progressing to severe disease despite receiving optimal standard of care. It also in- forms clinicians on the spectrum of clinical and socio-demographic factors associated with fungal asthma. The study was funded African Severe Asthma Program (ASAP), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) African Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Open Lab grant THRIVE-2 and Well- come Trust and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, DELTAS Africa. The supervisors are Assoc. Prof David Meya, Dr. William Worodria, Dr. Freddie Bwanga, Dr. Robin Gore, and Prof Stephen Fowler.