environmental/diagnostic assay data sheet
F0006 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Histoplasma
species by real time PCR
Histoplasma is a genus of dimorphic fungi belonging to the
family Ajellomycetaceae which are commonly found in bird and bat
fecal material. The Histoplasma genus includes H. capsulatum
which causes histoplasmosis; H. farciminosum which causes
epizootic lymphangitis in horses; and H. duboisii which causes
H. capsulatum is most prevalent in the
Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. The disease caused by H.
capsulatum is called histoplasmosis, also known as "cave
disease," "Darling's disease," "Ohio Valley disease,"
"Reticuloendotheliosis," "spelunker’s lung" and “caver's
disease.” Symptoms primarily affect the lungs, but other organs
can be affected if the fungus spreads in the body.
Histoplasmosis is commonly found in immunocompromised
individuals such as AIDS patients and cancer patients
People can be infected by inhaling
microscopic fungi borne from bird or bat feces, or decomposing
human biological fluids including urine, vomit, and feces
Histoplasmosis can be diagnosed by
detection of antigens in blood or urine samples by immunological
or molecular methods. However, immunology is not very specific
because antigens of Histoplasma can cross-react with antigens of
blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis and
Penicillium marneffei infection. Formal histoplasmosis diagnoses
may be confirmed by culturing the fungus directly. However,
cultures may take up to 6 weeks for diagnostic growth to occur.
Molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can
provide a rapid, specific and sensitive method for diagnosis of
this fungus (Elias et al., 2012)
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of Histoplasma
Help ensure that amphibian colonies are free of
Early prevention of spread of this fungus among the
Environmental monitoring for this fungus
Minimize human exposure to this fungus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
from susceptible species
Elías, N.A., Cuestas, M.L., Sandoval, M., Poblete, G.,
Lopez-Daneri, G., Jewtuchowicz, V., Iovannitti, C. and Mujica,
M.T. (2012) Rapid identification of Histoplasma capsulatum
directly from cultures by multiplex PCR. Mycopathologia.
0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top)
tube, or urine, or sputum, or bronchoalveolar lavage, or feces
or fecal swab, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed tissue, or
environmental surface swab.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days
polymerase chain reaction