Bagassosis, an interstitial lung disease, is a type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis attributed to exposure to moldy molasses (bagasse).[1][2]


Signs and symptoms

Some symptoms and signs of Bagassosis include breathlessness, cough, haemoptysis, slight fever. Acute diffuse bronchiolitis may also occur. An xray may show mottling of lungs or a shadow.


Bagassosis has been shown to be due to a thermophilic actinomycetes for which the name thermoactinomycetes sacchari was suggested.


The following are precautionary measures that can be taken to avoid the spread of bagassosis:

  1. Dust control-prevention /suppression of dust such as wet process, enclosed apparatus, exhaust ventilation etc. should be used
  2. Personal protection- masks/ respirators
  3. Medical control- initial medical examination & periodical checkups of workers
  4. Bagasse control- keep moisture content above 20% and spray bagasse with 2% propionic acid[3]


Bagassosis was first reported in India by Ganguly and Pal in 1955, in a cardboard manufacturing plant near Kolkata. India has a large cane sugar industry. The sugarcane fibre which, until recently, went to waste, is now utilised in the manufacture of cardboard, paper and rayon.


  1. Hur, T; Cheng KC; Yang GY (October 1994). "Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: bagassosis". Gaoxiong Yi Xue Ke Xue Za Zhi. 10 (10): 558–564. PMID 7807612.
  2. Ueda A, Aoyama K, Ueda T, et al. (July 1992). "Recent trends in bagassosis in Japan". Br J Ind Med. 49 (7): 499–506. doi:10.1136/oem.49.7.499. PMC 1039272. PMID 1637710.
  3. Park's textbook of preventive & social medicine 21st edition page-747
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