Background: Histoplasma capsulatum is a dimorphic pathogenic fungus endemic to the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys. In the immunocompetent it causes a self-limited disease, but in the immunocompromised may lead to disseminated disease (disseminated histoplasmosis (DH)). It is one of the opportunistic infections which defines the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and is rarely encountered outside endemic regions. Methods: Clinical, laboratory, and histologic information concerning seven patients with DH and AIDS in South Florida was recorded. Results: We report seven cases of DH with mucocutaneous lesions in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). All patients had markedly depressed CD4 counts of less than 40 cells/mm3, and only two had traveled to endemic areas. Two out of the seven patients were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at the time DH was identified. All of our patients had mucocutaneous lesions at the time of diagnosis, which clinically presented as a generalized papular eruption, ulcers, and erythematous scaly plaques. Conclusions: Even in non-endemic regions, HIV-positive patients presenting with fever, chills, weight loss, hepatosplenomegaly, anemia, cough, lymphadenopathy, and mucocutaneous lesions should have an early skin biopsy specimen taken for mycologic tissue culture and histopathologic evaluation for disseminated fungal infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas