Article Abstract

Atopic cough and fungal allergy

Authors: Haruhiko Ogawa, Masaki Fujimura, Noriyuki Ohkura, Koichi Makimura


We have shown that some patients presenting with chronic bronchodilator-resistant non-productive cough have a global atopic tendency and cough hypersensitivity without nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness, abbreviated as atopic cough (AC). The cough can be treated successfully with histamine H1 antagonists and/or glucocorticoids. Eosinophilic tracheobronchitis and cough hypersensitivity are pathological and physiological characteristics of AC. Fungus-associated chronic cough (FACC) is defined as chronic cough associated with basidiomycetous (BM) fungi found in induced sputum, and recognition of FACC has provided the possibility of using antifungal drugs as new treatment strategies. Bjerkandera adusta is a wood decay BM fungus, which has attracted attention because of its potential role in enhancing the severity of cough symptoms in FACC patients by sensitization to this fungus. Before making a diagnosis of “idiopathic cough” in cases of chronic refractory cough, remaining intractable cough-related laryngeal sensations, such as “a sensation of mucus in the throat (SMIT),” which is correlated with fungal colonization, should be evaluated and treated appropriately in each patient. The new findings, i.e., the detection of environmental mushroom spores that should not be present in the human airways in addition to the good clinical response of patients to antifungal drugs, may lead to the development of novel strategies for treatment of chronic cough.