Allergic Lung Disease

Dr. Jane SchuhDr. Jane Schuh

Our lab researches the interaction between the inflammatory cells and the resident cells and architecture of the allergic lung when a person is repeatedly exposed to mold spores. We have developed an animal model that closely mimics the human disease using the inhalation of Aspergillus fumigatus spores. A. fumigatus is found nearly everywhere and is responsible for a huge number of the mold-induced diseases of humans. The severity of these diseases can range from respiratory allergies to deadly invasive disease. The tiny, dark green spores are made by the billions, are very resistant to drying, and can stay airborne for long periods of time. When a person with a normal immune system inhales Aspergillus spores (s)he clears them very quickly. However, regular exposures or high-dose exposures can provoke allergies, and inhalation of the fungus can be life-threatening in people with an impaired immune system. Recently, we have built a collaboration with researchers at the University of Utah and ARUP National Reference Laboratory to develop an ultra-sensitive diagnostic test for Invasive Aspergillosis.