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Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum occurring in an HIV-positive Ghanaian immigrant to Italy: Identification of H. capsulatum DNA by PCR from paraffin sample

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Histoplasmosis, which is highly endemic in the United States, is rare in Europe, usually imported but sometimes autochthonous. In Africa, histoplasmosis capsulati coexists with “African histoplasmosis”, a characteristic skin infection caused by H. capsulatum var. duboisii. Histoplamosis due to H. capsulatum is one of the 12 secondary infections listed in the surveillance definitions of AIDS. We report the case of a 36-year-old black man with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) who was living in Italy but originally came from Ghana. Histoplasmosis was disseminated with fever and cutaneous manifestations. The diagnosis was demonstrated morphologically based on the presence of yeast, observed by light microscopy, in skin lesions and by identification of H. capsulatum var. capsulatum DNA by nested PCR from a paraffin sample. No clinical reports of histoplamosis capsulati in Ghana have been published until now. The present case stresses the role of immigration of subjects from outside Europe who have been infected in their native country.

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Keywords: Ghana; HIV positive; Histoplasmosis capsulati; Italy; PCR; immigrant

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Morphological Sciences and Forensic Medicine, Section of Pathological Anatomy, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, 2: Department of Clinical Pathology, Molecular Biology Laboratory, ASMN, Reggio Emilia, 3: Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Microbiology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Publication date: 2001-11-01

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