National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Histoplasmosis is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus (or mold.) The fungus is common in the eastern and central United States. It grows in soil and material contaminated with bat or bird droppings. You get infected by breathing the fungal spores. You cannot get the infection from someone else.
Histoplasmosis is often mild, with no symptoms. If you do get sick, it usually affects your lungs. Symptoms include feeling ill, fever, chest pains, and a dry cough. In severe cases, histoplasmosis spreads to other organs; this is called disseminated disease. Disseminated disease is more common in infants, young children, seniors, and people with immune system problems.
Tests for histoplasmosis include blood or urine tests and tissue samples. Chest x-rays and CT scans may also help to diagnose it. Mild cases usually get better without treatment. Treatment of severe or chronic cases is with antifungal drugs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)