histoplasmosis his·to·plas·mo·sis (hĭs'tō-plāz-mō'sĭs)
n. pl. his·to·plas·mo·ses (-sēz)
An infectious disease caused by the inhalation of spores of Histoplasma capsulatum, most often asymptomatic but occasionally producing acute pneumonia or an influenzalike illness and spreading to other organs and systems in the body. Also called Darling's disease.
infection with the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum, occurring in humans and other animals. The disease is contracted by the inhalation of dust containing spores of the fungus. H. capsulatum prefers moist, shady conditions and is found in woods, caves, cellars, silos, and old chicken houses. The last seem to be especially important because chickens often are infected and pass enormous numbers of organisms in their droppings. The use of chicken manure in gardens may lead to histoplasmosis in humans. Dogs, rats, mice, bats, pigeons, skunks, and probably many other animals become infected and may help to spread the disease. The chief site of infection is the lungs, though the fungus can spread through the bloodstream to other organs, such as the liver, and bone marrow.
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