[Outbreak of histoplasmosis in province of Neuquén, Patagonia Argentina].Rev Iberoam Micol. 2013 Jul-Sep; 30(3):193-9.RI
In Argentina, there are no reports of autochthonous cases of histoplasmosis in the southern regions of the country.
To report a histoplasmosis outbreak in Zapala town, Province of Neuquén, Patagonia Argentina.
We evaluated the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of 5 patients involved in the outbreak. Environmental studies were conducted to determine the source of infection. The genetic profile of Histoplasma capsulatum strains isolated from the index case (IC) were compared with clinical isolates from Argentinean patients not related to the outbreak, using RAPD-PCR with primers 1281-1283.
The patients were residents of Zapala, and had not visited other geographical areas before. All patients had an influenza-like syndrome, and X-ray revealed disseminated micronodular images throughout the lung parenchyma. The IC needed specific antifungal therapy; the remaining 4 patients had mild symptoms, and did not require therapy. All of them had a good clinical outcome. Strains of H. capsulatum isolated from blood culture and lung biopsy of the IC showed a genetic profile different from other strains analyzed. The presence of the fungus in the environment was demonstrated by the detection of anti-Histoplasma antibodies in BALB/c mice inoculated with soil obtained in a culvert where workers had dug up earth after a landslide.
This outbreak suggests the histoplasmosis endemic area is under the 38° S parallel. Patients from Neuquén, Patagonia Argentina, with compatible symptoms of histoplasmosis should be tested, regardless of their travel or exposure history.