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Hyper-endemic areas for histoplasmosis revealed in new SE Asian maps

August 06 2019

Researchers from Manchester (UK) and Jakarta (Indonesia) have published new prevalence data for histoplasmosis exposure for multiple countries in SE Asia. Sensitivity to the histoplasmin skin test was seen in a large proportion of the population (26-86%), so it is likely that rolling out the Histoplasma antigen test (now on the WHO Essential Diagnostics List) will help to diagnose cases and save lives.
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Skin biopsy distinguishes cutaneous leishmaniasis from lobomycosis in Colombian soldiers

July 29 2019

Lobomycosis (AKA lacaziosis) is an implantation mycosis endemic to the Amazon basin, caused by Lacazia loboi. Nodular keloid lesions grow slowly and can cause disfigurement. Biopsy of lesions shows many thick-walled yeast cells forming chains, which may co-occur with other infections (e.g. leprosy, leishmaniasis) or squamous cell carcinoma.
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Suspect histoplasmosis in returning travellers from an endemic area presenting with fever and cough

July 22 2019

Histoplasmosis can present in a variety of ways, making it difficult to diagnose. Dr Staffolani and colleagues carried out a systematic review of 835 cases of histoplasmosis (including 45 clusters) from the literature, among immunocompetent patients who had recently returned from an endemic area. Manifestations included fever (91%), cough (55%), constitutional symptoms (58%), headache (52%) and chest pain (41%).
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Candida auris found among Russian ICU patients

July 16 2019

Dr Barantsevich and colleagues describe a series of 49 trauma patients at an ICU in Moscow from whom Candida auris was isolated. Fluconazole resistance was widespread. However, no isolates were recovered by monthly swabbing of the hospital environment, healthcare workers’ hands and devices.
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WHO endorses Histoplasma antigen as a WHO Essential Diagnostic

July 11 2019

The World Health Organisation has updated its Essential Medicines List to the Histoplasma antigen test, which can be used on urine to diagnose histoplasmosis in 48 hours. Rolling out this test worldwide could save up to 48,000 lives in 5 years.
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