Diseases Diseases

When Should Women Have a Histoplasmin Skin Test


Histoplasmin is a test created to check for the presence of a particular infection. It is prepared by the products produced during the growth of fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. It is injected as a test for histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis (Histo) is a fungal disease caused by histoplasma capsulatum fungus. Histoplasmosis has been given many names such as cave disease, spelunkers disease, Ohio Valley disease, darlings disease and reticuloendotheliosis.

This fungus is found throughout the world in soil and valleys due to dropping accumulation of bats and other birds. It is exposed to air when the soil is moved while plowing or digging. It is usually contracted when exposed to bats and chickens faeces as the respective fungis airborne spores are inhaled by the lungs. Histoplasmin is not a very useful diagnosis for histoplasmosis. Why is a fungus used to prepare this test? because positive resulting skin tests are usual in endemic parts and help conclude any previous exposures. This test is primarily used in testing for cutaneous allergy for immunodeficiency diagnosis and also for epidemiologic survey. For some reason this disease is more common in females compared to males.

Histoplasma is a discovery of early nineteenth century by Darling and an alternative name for the diseases caused by it is also called Darlings disease. After twenty five years of its discovery, the infection spread around widely. In those days it was confused with tuberculosis as the symptoms affect the lungs in the same manner. Later after more research and technologies, proper treatments were introduced. Even now many results are not understood such as what affects the vision as histo spots do not affect the vision.

As it is more common in women, it is advisable to consult a doctor or even get a histoplasmin test if necessary when you feel you are suffering from this infection rather than ignoring it and allowing it to effect you more seriously later. Usually, the symptoms are so mild that they are not noticeable. In most cases histo spots and tiny scars are the only indication of the disease. Histo spots are affiliated with an abnormal blood vessels growth underneath retina.

In early age it does not affect the eye sight. It may show its effects after years or in some cases decades. The acute phases of the disease indicate coughing and flu like symptoms that you may dismiss considering a normal cold as the human bodys immune system works against it and overcomes the infection within some time. but the chronic phase indicates the similar case as tuberculosis. Later this disease affects other organs if not treated and it can cause serious diseases such as "lymphadenopathy," "ocular histoplasmisis syndrome" and "hepatosplenomegaly" which may also affect your facial features.

Tips and comments

To prevent the exposure to this fungus, the government of America has provided the citizens with information respective to the protective measures that can be taken. Some treatments have been developed for different diseases causes by histoplasmosis. 

By Maryam Cheema, published at 03/25/2012
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