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Farmer's lung

This section deals with the clinical condition farmer's lung, listing the relevant immunological test, together with a short explanation of its use.

Relevant immunological test: Farmer's lung precipitins (thermophilic actinomyces)

Hypersensitivity to Micropolysporium faeni is a common cause of farmer's lung hypersensitivity pneumonitis occurring 12 to 24 hours after exposure to mouldy hay. In some cases of farmer's lung, hypersensitivity to other fungal species implicated.

The absence of precipitin (IgG) to Micropolysporium faeni does not rule the diagnosis out. These antibodies can be found in some healthy individuals: The presence of these antibodies supports, but does not confirm, a diagnosis of farmer's lung.

There are numerous other causes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis including fungal spores and occupational antigens. Please discuss with the laboratory if these may be incriminated.

The diagnosis is made by a combination of clinical features, X-ray and lung function tests.


(Last updated October 8th 2014)