Acute Histoplasmosis in Spelunkers Returning from Mato Grosso, Peru

Paola Nasta, Alessandra Donisi, Anna Cattane, Alessandro Chiodera, Salvatore Casari
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.1997.tb00815.x 176-178 First published online: 1 December 1997

Abstract

Background Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease with a worldwide distribution. Travelers returning from endemic areas with a history of exposure to fungal spores have a high risk of infection.

Methods We report four cases of acute pulmonary disease in Italian spelunkers returning from Mato Grosso, Peru.

Results Symptoms and radiologie findings were consistent with acute pulmonary illness. Laboratory data supported the hypothesis of histoplasmosis.

Conclusions Histoplasmosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis in travelers returning from endemic areas, who report a risk of exposure, and present with respiratory illness. In this setting, seroconversion may be considered diagnostic of pulmonary histoplasmosis.