Mapping histoplasmosis in South East Asia–implications for diagnosis in AIDS

Jacob Baker, Findra Setianingrum, Retno Wahyuningsih, David W. Denning

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Histoplasmosis caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum is often lethal in patients with AIDS. Urine antigen testing is highly sensitive and much quicker for diagnosis than culture. Histoplasmosis has a patchy and incompletely appreciated distribution around the world especially in South East Asia. We conducted a systematic literature review of cases of all disease forms of histoplasmosis in SE Asia, not including the Indian sub-continent. We also reviewed all histoplasmin skin test mapping studies to determine localities of exposure. We found a total of 407 cases contracted or likely to have been contracted in SE Asia. Numbers of cases by country varied: Thailand (233), Malaysia (76), Indonesia (48) and Singapore (21), with few or no cases reported in other countries. Most cases (255 (63%)) were disseminated histoplasmosis and 177 (43%) cases were HIV associated. Areas of high histoplasmin skin test sensitivity prevalence were found in Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam - 86.4%, 26.0%, 63.6%, 36.0% and 33.7%, respectively. We have drawn maps of these data. Further study is required to ascertain the extent of histoplasmosis within SE Asia. Diagnostic capability for patients with HIV infection is urgently required in SE Asia, to reduce mortality and mis-diagnosis as tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1145
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • adrenal
  • AIDS
  • disseminated
  • Histoplasma
  • skin testing


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