Histoplasmosis among hospitalized febrile patients in northern Tanzania

Sarah M. Lofgren, Emily J. Kirsch, Venance P. Maro, Anne B. Morrissey, Levina J. Msuya, Grace D. Kinabo, Wilbrod Saganda, Helmut C. Diefenthal, Habib O. Ramadhani, L. Joseph Wheat and John A. Crump
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Histoplasmosis may be common in East Africa but the diagnosis is rarely confirmed. We report 9 (0.9%) cases of probable histoplasmosis retrospectively identified among 970 febrile inpatients studied in northern Tanzania. Median (range) age was 31 (6, 44) years, 6 (67%) were female, 6 (67%) HIV-infected; 7 (78%) were clinically diagnosed with tuberculosis or bacterial pneumonia. Histoplasmosis is an important cause of febrile illness in Tanzania but is rarely considered in the differential diagnosis. Increased clinician awareness and availability of reliable diagnostic tests may improve patient outcomes.