What is the prognosis for Histoplasmosis?

  • Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by a dimorphic fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum.
  • Risk factors for histoplasmosis include immunocompromised people and association with airborne particles containing the fungi (caves containing bats, bird feces, construction sites).
  • Symptoms of histoplasmosis range from none to flu-like symptoms (fever, dry cough, chest discomfort); severe infections may cause vision problems, mouth ulcers, seizures, encephalopathy, and death.
  • Seek medical care if symptoms of the flu or pneumonia persist, especially in people with immunocompromised systems.
  • Definitive diagnosis is made by culturing and identifying Histoplasma capsulatum from biopsy, blood, or sputum samples.
  • The majority of patients infected by Histoplasma capsulatum require no treatment; the small number of patients who develop more severe infection may require long-term antifungal treatments (months to a year) while a few may need lifelong antifungal treatment.
  • Follow-up is important because of the potential need for long-term antifungal treatments to monitor drug levels and to determine effective treatment or reoccurrence of infection.
  • The large majority of patients who develop histoplasmosis have no complication; ocular (eye) problems, mouth ulcers, encephalopathy, seizures, and, rarely, death may occur in those few patients that develop severe disease.
  • The large majority of people who develop histoplasmosis have good outcomes; patients who are immunocompromised have outcomes that range from good to poor, depending on their response to treatment and disease severity.
  • No vaccine is currently available to prevent histoplasmosis; avoidance of bat and bird habitats and avoiding construction sites that may aerosolize the fungi is recommended.

    Source: http://www.emedicinehealth.com