The term “fungus” is used to encompass a very broad range of organisms and the number capable of causing respiratory infection is extensive, varying from yeasts to complex, highly resistant moulds. Fungi are ubiquitous in the environment, typically found in soil and decaying vegetation, thus exposure of the respiratory system to these organisms is common and, accordingly, many fungal infections present with pulmonary involvement. A few fungi are highly virulent and can cause disease even in hosts with intact immunity, however, the virulence of most fungal organisms is low and exposure frequently results in transient colonization which is cleared by the intact immune system. The advent of highly immunosuppressed hosts states, such as with organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy, has resulted in an increasing incidence of invasive fungal infections over the last several decades.1 In fact, many fungal organisms previously not thought to be pathogenic have been found to cause disease, most commonly as opportunistic infections in immunosuppressed populations
Bronchoalveolar lavage was done in 91 cases over a period of 1½ years. Definite diagnosis was not given in 7 cases. Four cases were inadequate. Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 22 cases, fungal infections in 7 cases. Thirty-eight cases of bacterial pneumonias were diagnosed, Klebsiella was the most common organism. Malignancy was diagnosed in 13 cases.