Mycopathologia. 2021 Mar 11. doi: 10.1007/s11046-021-00539-z. Online ahead of print.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchiectasis represent chronic airway diseases associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Bacteria and viruses are commonly implicated in acute exacerbations; however the significance of fungi in these airways remains poorly defined. While COPD and bronchiectasis remain recognized risk factors for the occurrence of Aspergillus-associated disease including chronic and invasive aspergillosis, underlying mechanisms that lead to the progression from colonization to invasive disease remain uncertain. Nonetheless, advances in molecular technologies have improved our detection, identification and understanding of resident fungi characterizing these airways. Mycobiome sequencing has revealed the complex varied and myriad profile of airway fungi in COPD and bronchiectasis, including their association with disease presentation, progression, and mortality. In this review, we outline the emerging evidence for the clinical importance of fungi in COPD and bronchiectasis, available diagnostic modalities, mycobiome sequencing approaches and association with clinical outcomes.