Histoplasmosis is cause by “Histoplasma Capsulatum”. It is a fungus and this fungus goes and infects the lungs. And can also cause disseminate of disease by entering into the bloodstream. So, the fungus grows as a mold in soil and as yeast in animal and human hosts. In animal and human hosts, this fungus has a prediction to go to the reticuloendothelial system like that of the lung, liver spleen, and bone marrow. And it is transmitted through inhalation of spores cornea from soil contaminated with bad guano or bird droppings.
So, This medical condition is associate with bird and bat droppings or litter. A farmer or somebody that has gone to some caves or gone into the woods easily develops this disease. Because these are the areas where bird or bat droppings are present.
Also, a person who deals with chicken fertilizer may suffer from histoplasmosis. the disease is not transmissible from person to person. This epidemic is distributing worldwide near the river valleys in the caves where birds and beds live or roost people who work in this area like the excavator explorer.
So, In this disease, conidia go to the lung and are phagocytosed by the phagocytic cell. They are facultative parasites and multiply in the phagocytic cell. This is disseminate in a person whose body defense is weak.
Now the infection occurs when the person inhales the spores that are produce by the Histoplasma Capsulatum . And the infection involves the lungs and can then spread hematogenously to other organs.
Symptoms of Histoplasmosis:
The histoplasmosis incubation period is 3 to 17 days and 90 percent of infections are asymptomatic or mild influenza-like. Some infections may lead to acute pulmonary histoplasmosis. A lot of the symptoms of histoplasmosis are very similar to the symptoms of pneumonia such as:
- High temperature
- Chest pain
- The patient will also develop a malaise (feeling of fatigue and muscle pain)
- Erythema nodosum is a condition where the patient will have tender nodules on their shins
The most patient recovers spontaneously within two to three weeks. Its dissemination especially to the liver and spleen and central nervous system can occur auto in an immunocompromised patient.
Diagnosis of Histoplasmosis:
There are several things that you can do to diagnose it.
- A chest x-ray, which will show a mass lesion it will show lymphadenopathy.
- Next test is ”tissue biopsy, " which will show the yeast cultures.
- The next test is called antigen testing and this is a test that detects the Histoplasma capsulatum antigen and which can be detect in either the urine or the serum. And the good thing about this test is that it's more sensitive than the blood culture.
- Culture of histoplast markets later from bone marrow.
- Blood sputum even the gastric content because people swallow the sputum.
- Microscopy of the yeast in the tissue.
- PCR on tissue specimen.
- Enzyme link immunoassay on urine serum.
- Plasma bronchiologist or CSF.
So those are the tests involve in histoplasmosis.
How are at a higher risk of developing severe Histoplasmosis?
- Older people
- People with diabetes
- Organ transplant people
- People are taking steroids or chemotherapy drug
These people are more vulnerable form, other people. And people that are very much prone to allergic reactions should avoid high-risk areas like sinister-infested caves or river valleys with bird roasts and a lot of droppings. So they should avoid going there.
Treatment with medication:
Treatment is usually not required for immunocompetent people with short or almost asymptomatic disease or localized pulmonary infection. it personally recovers without treatment. For people with a more extensive disease for more than one-month duration or an immunocompromised patient anti-fungal drugs are use.
Mild to moderate case of histoplasmosis can be treated with an anti-fungal medication known as itraconazole.
And a severe case of histoplasmosis is treate with a very powerful drug known as Amphotericin B. Unfortunately it has a lot of side effects so it's really only reserve for severe cases.