The new Histoplasma Antigen, Urine test is now available to the Mayo Clinic practice and Mayo Medical Laboratories clients. This test should be ordered in individuals suspected to be infected with Histoplasma capsulatum. View this post to watch a short three-minute video overview from Elitza Theel, Ph.D.
Histoplasma capsulatum is a dimorphic fungus endemic to the Midwest United States, particularly along the Mississippi River and Ohio River valleys.
Infection occurs following inhalation of fungal microconidia typically found in soil or bird droppings
Symptoms of infection range from a self-limited pulmonary illness to severe, disseminated disease
At-risk individuals for severe disease include those with impaired cellular immunity, patients who have had organ transplantation, HIV-positive individuals, or persons with a hematologic malignancy.
This test will provide both qualitative and quantitative results
This test can be used for initial diagnostic purposes as well as to monitor patient response to antifungal therapy.
How to Use These Tests
This test should be ordered in individuals suspected to be infected with Histoplasma capsulatum.
Detection of Histoplasma capsulatum antigen from urine samples has improved sensitivity for the diagnosis of active histoplasmosis compared to both culture and serology.
Presence of Histoplasma antigen in urine is indicative of current infection with Histoplasma capsulatum.
Urine antigen levels can be used to monitor patient response to therapy, with declining levels consistent with disease resolution.
Histoplasma capsulatum antigen may persist at low-levels following completion of antifungal therapy and clinical improvement.
Confirmatory testing will be performed on specimens with an indeterminate result.
Clinical decisions regarding Histoplasma infection should not be based on an indeterminate result alone. Histoplasma serology, fungal culture, and molecular tests should be considered, in addition to the patient’s clinical presentation and exposure history, to confirm the diagnosis.
Brent Westra is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. He leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing along with new media innovations. Brent has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011.