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Hypersensivity pneumonitis in contact with lovebirds

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:03pm

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis secondary to lovebirds: a new cause of bird fancier’s disease

Funke,M., Fellrath,J.M.
European Respiratory Journal 2008;32:517-521

Patient: a 59-yr-old Caucasian male was hospitalised because of progressive dyspnoe on exertion, weight loss and a febrile productive cough that did not respond to antibiotics.

Cause: A careful environmental history revealed a close contact with lovebirds shortly before the onset of symptoms. Precipitins were strongly positive against lovebird droppings, but were negative against other avian antigens.

Diagnosis: The patient was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis to lovebirds.

Treatment: Avoidance of lovebirds and steroid treatment led to rapid improvement.

Hypersensivity pneumonitis is an immunologically mediated lung disease due to repetitive inhalation of antigens that provoke lymphocytic inflammation and granulomatous lesions in the peripheral airways and surrounding interstitium. The only true effective tratment is early recognition of the causative antigen and control of exposure Active untreated HP may lead to irreversible fibroses and/or emphysema.

The present observation identifies a new causative agent for hypersensitivity pneumonitis and highlights the importance of a thorough environmental history and of searching for precipitins against antigens directly extracted from the patient’s environment.

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis secondary to lovebirds: a new cause of bird fancier’s disease

Funke,M., Fellrath,J.M.
European Respiratory Journal 2008;32:517-521

Patient: a 59-yr-old Caucasian male was hospitalised because of progressive dyspnoe on exertion, weight loss and a febrile productive cough that did not respond to antibiotics.

Cause: A careful environmental history revealed a close contact with lovebirds shortly before the onset of symptoms. Precipitins were strongly positive against lovebird droppings, but were negative against other avian antigens.

Diagnosis: The patient was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis to lovebirds.

Treatment: Avoidance of lovebirds and steroid treatment led to rapid improvement.

Hypersensivity pneumonitis is an immunologically mediated lung disease due to repetitive inhalation of antigens that provoke lymphocytic inflammation and granulomatous lesions in the peripheral airways and surrounding interstitium. The only true effective tratment is early recognition of the causative antigen and control of exposure Active untreated HP may lead to irreversible fibroses and/or emphysema.

The present observation identifies a new causative agent for hypersensitivity pneumonitis and highlights the importance of a thorough environmental history and of searching for precipitins against antigens directly extracted from the patient’s environment.

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