HistoplasmosisJAMA A fungal infection, commonly of the lungs, caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. This fungus is commonly found in bird and/or bat droppings in the Ohio and Mississippi Valley region, the Caribbean Islands, and in parts of the Northeast United States. It is spread by inhaling the spores of the fungus. The most definitive test for the fungus has been from fungal stains and bone marrow cultures. Blood testing has proved to be less reliable. In areas where H capsulatum is prevalent, 80% or more of the population has been exposed to infection through inhaling airborne spores produced by the fungus. People with severely damaged immune systems, such as those with AIDS, are vulnerable to a very serious disease known as progressive disseminated histoplasmosis. Nationwide, about 5% of people with AIDS have histoplasmosis, but in geographic areas where the fungus is common, people with AIDS are at high risk for disseminated histoplasmosis.
a fungal infection acquired by inhaling spores
of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum which are present in soil or dust.
The disease is most often found in the lungs, where it produces a tuberculosis-like
inflammation, but the disease may also disseminate. Symptoms include cough,
fever and weight loss. The disease may be life-threatening in individuals
with suppressed immune systems.
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