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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
March 21, 2011

Pathology Quiz Case 2: Diagnosis

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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011;137(3):309-310. doi:10.1001/archoto.2011.22-b

Histoplasmosis is a systemic mycosis that is caused by H capsulatum, a dimorphic fungus found globally in soil. Histoplasma capsulatumoccurs in a mycelial form at ambient temperatures and grows as yeast at body temperature in mammals. It can be found in temperate climates and is endemic to the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi River valleys in the United States. Highly infectious soil is found near areas that are inhabited by bats and birds. Birds cannot be infected by the fungus, but their excretions contaminate the soil, thereby enriching the growth medium for the mycelium. Bats can become infected, and they transmit histoplasmosis through their droppings.1

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