Sources of infection of histoplasmosis in the Island of Youth, Cuba

The purpose of this work is to report the isolation of Histoplasma capsulatum, etiologic agent of histoplasmosis, from soil in sites inhabited by bats and chicken in the Island of Youth, Cuba. The fungus was cultured from four species of cavedwelling bats too. The identification of H. capsulatum was done by mycelial to yeast conversion and exoantigen test. It is pointed out the epidemiological value of some of these isolations in caves of great importance from the archeologic, speleologic or touristic point of view; and the potential risk that they represent to human health. The authors conclude with some recommendation to prevent the infection with H. capsultatum in people who have to keep in contact with those environments.

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