Opportunistic Disease: Histoplasmosis

In: do/respiratory/histoplasmosis/January 2015/Not an Influenza - But an Opportunistic Disease

What is it?

PilzfamilieA histoplasmosis is a fungal infection. It may occur in people with healthy immune systems or deleted. In people with healthy immune systems, it usually does not cause perceptual symptoms, although some people have symptoms similar to flu and mild respiratory problems. In people with suppressed immune system, it can cause more serious problems, including breathing difficulties, kidney failure and liver, and brain damage.

Histoplasmosis is caused by Histoplasma capsulatum. This fungus is found predominately in the central part of the United States, especially in areas of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the Caribbean and South America. This infection usually starts in the lungs but can spread to other parts of the body and cause a wide variety of symptoms, especially in people with suppressed immune system. People who have been infected with H. capsulatum when his immune system was healthy can develop histoplasmosis years later if their immune systems have become compromised.

People can become infected with H. capsulatum by breathing in soil or dust contaminated with manure of birds containing the fungus. People with CD4 cell count below 150 are at greater risk of developing mild or severe histoplasmosis after breathing the fungus. However, histoplasmosis is not considered a common disease among people with AIDS, including those living in the central portion of the United States where the H. capsulatum is more common.

Translation Rodrido S Pellegrini

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