ABC Medical Center > Histoplasmosis

What is Histoplasmosis?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is an infectious disease caused by inhaling spores of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum found in the fecal matter of birds and bats, which affects the lungs and can invade other parts of the body.

Anyone can get it, especially those with a weakened immune system and exposure to the droppings of the aforementioned animals.

Histoplasmosis is not contagious, but it can occur repeatedly, with less intensity each time. The most vulnerable groups are:

  • People with a depressed immune system due to diseases or drug treatments.
  • Young children and elderly people.
  • Farmers.
  • Poultry farm workers.
  • Speleologist.
  • Gardeners.
  • People who control pests.
  • Construction workers.

Signs and symptoms Histoplasmosis

The symptoms will depend on the number of spores you have inhaled, so you may or may not have symptoms, which appear between 5 and 18 days after exposure to the fungus, the most frequent being:

  • Headache.
  • Joint and muscle pain.
  • Chills.
  • Tiredness.
  • High fever.
  • Chest pain.
  • Coughing fits.

Chronic histoplasmosis includes:

  • Weight loss.
  • Coughing up blood

Potential risks:

  • Lung damage.
  • Adrenal glands insufficiency.
  • Meningitis.
  • Problems in the pericardium, affecting the heart’s ability to pump blood.
  • Death.

Diagnosis and treatment Histoplasmosis

Once your doctor reviews your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and order blood and urine tests, as well as samples of: 

  • Bone marrow.
  • Pulmonary secretions.
  • Lung tissue.

If your symptoms are mild and tests show no problems, you probably won’t need treatment. But if the infection has spread or you have chronic ailments, you’ll need antifungal medication for several months to a full year.

You can prevent histoplasmosis infection by avoiding exposure to closed, polluted environments such as henhouses, wearing a protective mask, and spraying water on the spot to counteract exposure to dust.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Marulanda NCJ, Gartner LE, Díaz GCJ, et al. Histoplasmosis diseminada asociada a síndrome de reconstitución inmune en un paciente con virus de la inmunodeficiencia humana. Rev Cubana Med Trop. 2020;72(3):1-12.
  • Plazola-Hernández A, Bustos-Rodríguez FJ, Orozco-Cortez P, et al. Fungal epididymitis due to histoplasmosis: A case report. Rev Mex Urol. 2021;81(1):1-6.
  • Verdugo CPN, Castellanos CJ, Barrera OCA, et al. ¿Cuál es su diagnóstico? / Histoplasmosis cutánea. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2020;18(2):160-161.
  • Durán L, Troya J, Duprez A, et al. Histoplasmosis diseminada crónica con lesiones en zona genital. Med Cutan Iber Lat Am. 2019;47(3):227-230. doi:10.35366/91765.

How can we help you?

    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.