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Med Mycol. 2008 Feb;46(1):57-65.

Histoplasmosis in Europe: report on an epidemiological survey from the European Confederation of Medical Mycology Working Group.

Author information

  • 1Mycology Reference Centre, Department of Microbiology, Old Medical School, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK. h.r.ashbee@leeds.ac.uk

Abstract

The purpose of this survey was to systematically collect data on individuals with histoplasmosis in Europe over a 5-year period (from January 1995 to December 1999). This included information on where and how the infection was acquired, the patient's risk factors, the causative organism, how the infection was diagnosed and what therapy the patients received. Data were sent on a standardized survey form via a national convenor to the coordinator. During the survey, 118 cases were reported, with 62 patients having disseminated disease, 31 acute pulmonary infection, chronic pulmonary infection in 6 and localized disease in 2 patients. For 17 patients, the diagnosis of histoplasmosis was incidental, usually secondary to investigations for lung cancer. Most patients had travelled to known endemic areas, but 8 patients (from Italy, Germany and Turkey) indicated that they had not been outside their countries of origin and hence these cases appear to be autochthonous. Notable observations during the survey were the reactivation of the disease up to 50 years after the initial infection in some patients and transmission of the infection by a transplanted liver. Itraconazole was the most commonly used therapy in both pulmonary and disseminated disease. The observation of autochthonous cases of disease suggests that the endemic area of histoplasmosis is wider than classically reported and supports continued surveillance of the disease throughout Europe.

PMID:
17885939
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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