Histoplasmosis is caused by the reproductive cells (spores) of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. The spores are extremely light and float into the air when dirt or other contaminated material is disturbed. Even if you've had histoplasmosis in the past, you can still get the infection again. However, if you contract histoplasmosis again, the illness will likely be milder than the initial infection.
The histoplasmosis fungus thrives in damp soil that's rich in organic material, especially the droppings from birds and bats. For that reason, it's particularly common in chicken and pigeon coops, old barns, caves and parks. Histoplasmosis isn't contagious, so it can't be spread from person to person.
Feb. 08, 2012
- Histoplasmosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/histoplasmosis. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- Kaufman CA. Histoplasmosis. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- Wheat J, et al. Pathogenesis and clinical features of pulmonary histoplasmosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- Hage CH, et al. Histoplasmosis: Introduction. In: Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- Fort GG, et al. Histoplasmosis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- Davies SF, et al. Fungal infections: Histoplasmosis. In: Mason RJ, et al. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/192068760-2/0/1288/0.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- Histoplasmosis: Protecting workers at risk. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2005-109. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- What is ARDS? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ards. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.
- Van Duin D. Histoplasmosis. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.