“Aspergillus and me” is a song written by Alessandro Pasqualotto, a medical mycologist from Brazil, and two transplant patients, Jimi Joe (kidney), and King Jim (liver).
The initiative started when King was hospitalized due to a chronic cough. King is known for being asthmatic and he has some mild bronchiectasis, in addition to being a liver transplant recipient. A bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was recovered in culture, in addition to Aspergillus fumigatus (galactomannan testing was not performed). At that time, Alessandro Pasqualotto visited King in the hospital primarily as a fan, not as a physician. After collecting several autographs in vinyl albums from the 80’s (King was part of the famous rock band Garotos da Rua), Pasqualotto and King started a discussion on the relevance of A. fumigatus in his BAL exam. Despite being treated with voriconazole by order of the medical team in charge, Pasqualotto thought the musician was only colonized by the fungus. The dilemma surrounding the relevance of Aspergillus in this context motivated both Pasqualotto and King to write a song about that.
After being discharged from the hospital, King collected a group of experienced musicians to record Pasqualotto’s song. This included Jimi Joe, a kidney transplant recipient who together with King formed the band “Los Tresplantados”, a group of three transplant musicians that approaches the importance of organ donation, as well as opportunistic infections. Los Tresplantados, however, have never written a song about fungal infections, so this was a great opportunity to increase people’s awareness of such important diseases.
So this is what “Aspergillus and me” are all about. Alternatively, musicians also refer to this song as “When Black Sabbath meets Neil Young”. We hope you enjoy the song!
The aim of physiotherapy for chest clearance is to remove
the excess secretions which are produced by the lungs in response to infection,
virus or toxins from fungal stimulus. Regular maintenance treatment is
important to keep a clear chest and reduce the need for repeated courses of
The Irish Lung Fibrosis Association has produced an hour-long video, which takes viewers through yoga exercises suitable for patients with lung fibrosis and other respiratory conditions. Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle, and can improve quality of life in those who suffer from lung conditions. If you struggle to stand, the first half of the video is devoted to exercises that can be done sitting in a chair.
Further information about exercising with aspergillosis:
We know that 10-15 mins exercise every day is important to maintain lung health – it really can stop your lungs deteriorating if you have a chronic lung infection as it exercises your lungs, ribcage muscles and diaphragm. The British Heart Foundation have published this short video to help with a gentle 10 min workout you can do in your living room. If in doubt consult your doctor before starting.
Rajan Chatterjee, a young GP advocating that we need to holistically assess the long term causes of chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia and depression in order to successfully rid ourselves of those illnesses often without the need for medication. As a GP he has realised that there are a collection of contributory causes of many chronic diseases (diet, stress, sleep, physical activity, environment, infections, gut health) that we can each address and once we have ruled out or changed our personal practices or circumstances many chronic diseases can resolve. There can be no further need for some medical interventions that are commonplace at the moment.
We are not all the same, we all have different genetics but we also have differing lifestyles and environments. Rajan argues that doctors need to learn to treat symptoms less and think about long terms causes more. Similarly the patient needs to realise that the dozen harmful things that they do every day harm their health, and it is much better to tackle those things personally than go to a doctor for a medication to ‘cover up’ the resultant symptoms.