A twenty-first-century perspective of disseminated histoplasmosis in India: Literature review and retrospective analysis of published and unpublished cases at a tertiary care hospital in North India


PURPOSE: Published literature lacks systematic studies on disseminated histoplasmosis in India, and previous reviews on its epidemiology in India were conducted two decades back. Thus, we review the Indian studies published in this century to understand the recent epidemiology of histoplasmosis in India and do a retrospective analysis of all cases diagnosed at our institute. METHODS: A literature of review search was done in Pubmed/Medline and Scopus. Studies published during January 2001-December 2015 were considered along with retrospective analysis of cases presented to us. A distinction was made in the clinical presentation of immunocompetent and immunocompromised cases. RESULTS: Ninety-five included studies described 204 cases, and 10 cases from our retrospective analysis were included. The mean age at presentation was 45.1 +/- 15.4 years [range 3-83, median 45, interquartile range 37-55], and male-to-female ratio was 6:1. Most cases were reported from northern and northeastern states of India along the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Brahmaputra and in people associated with agricultural activity. About 33% of cases were immunocompromised, out of which immunosuppression due to HIV was seen in 72% cases. The mean age of presentation was significantly lower in immunocompromised cases (37.9 vs. 49.2 years; p < 0.00001, Mann-Whitney test), and mortality was also higher (10 vs. 27.5%, p = 0.01, Fisher's exact test). Adrenal involvement was in significantly higher proportion of immunocompetent patients compared to immunocompromised population. CONCLUSIONS: Disseminated histoplasmosis is being increasingly recognized in India. There is a need to undertake well-designed, analytical studies utilizing appropriate diagnostic modalities to understand the epidemiology of this neglected disease in proper perspective


Gupta A, Ghosh A, Singh G, Xess I




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population


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