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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 982429, 11 pages
Review Article

Could Histoplasma capsulatum Be Related to Healthcare-Associated Infections?

1Departamento de Microbiología-Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Circuito Interior, Ciudad Universitaria, Avenida Universidad 3000, 04510 México, DF, Mexico
2Instituto Nacional de Infectologia Evandro Chagas, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Avenida Brasil 4365, Manguinhos, 21040-360 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Rodovia Araraquara-Jaú Km 1, 14801-902 Araraquara, SP, Brazil

Received 30 October 2014; Revised 12 May 2015; Accepted 12 May 2015

Academic Editor: Kurt G. Naber

Copyright © 2015 Laura Elena Carreto-Binaghi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are described in diverse settings. The main etiologic agents of HAI are bacteria (85%) and fungi (13%). Some factors increase the risk for HAI, particularly the use of medical devices; patients with severe cuts, wounds, and burns; stays in the intensive care unit, surgery, and hospital reconstruction works. Several fungal HAI are caused by Candida spp., usually from an endogenous source; however, cross-transmission via the hands of healthcare workers or contaminated devices can occur. Although other medically important fungi, such as Blastomyces dermatitidis, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, and Histoplasma capsulatum, have never been considered nosocomial pathogens, there are some factors that point out the pros and cons for this possibility. Among these fungi, H. capsulatum infection has been linked to different medical devices and surgery implants. The filamentous form of H. capsulatum may be present in hospital settings, as this fungus adapts to different types of climates and has great dispersion ability. Although conventional pathogen identification techniques have never identified H. capsulatum in the hospital environment, molecular biology procedures could be useful in this setting. More research on H. capsulatum as a HAI etiologic agent is needed, since it causes a severe and often fatal disease in immunocompromised patients.