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February 1989

Significance of Histoplasma Antigen in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients With Meningitis

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(2):302-304. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390020044009

• A radioimmunoassay was previously developed for detection of Histoplasma capsulatum antigen in the blood and urine of patients with disseminated histoplasmosis. In this investigation, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from 14 episodes of Histoplasma meningitis occurring in 12 patients were tested by radioimmunoassay. Histoplasma capsulatum antigen was detected in the CSF of five patients. Cerebrospinal fluid cultures were positive for H capsulatum in three of these five patients. Antibodies to H capsulatum were found in nine of the 13 CSF specimens tested. The radioimmunoassay for Histoplasma antigen was also positive in the CSF in one of 11 patients with coccidioidal meningitis but not in 17 patients with cryptococcal meningitis. It was concluded that Histoplasma antigen is present in the CSF of some patients with histoplasmosis and chronic meningitis, but cross-reactions may occur in patients with coccidioidal meningitis.

(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:302-304)