Bat-associated histoplasmosis in Maryland bridge workers.Am J Med. 1979 Oct; 67(4):623-6.AJ
An epidemic of acute prolonged febrile respiratory disease affecting nine of 19 workers on a Maryland State bridge maintenance crew was diagnosed as histoplasmosis by serologic testing in all and by isolation of the organism in one. In our investigation, it was revealed that work on a particular bridge was associated with disease. Culture of bat guano from the site two months later revealed H. capsulatum. Four previously uninfected epidemiologic investigators also became ill with histoplasmosis following collection of soil and bat guano. This outbreak reveals that bats and bat guano are a source of histoplasmosis, suggests that only brief exposure is necessary for acute infection and reemphasizes that histoplasmosis is not confined to the midwestern states.