Histoplasmosis in Colombian Bats

With a Consideration of Some of the Factors Influencing the Prevalence of Natural Infection in Chiroptera

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  • Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

Summary

One thousand and one bats, representing 31 Neotropical species, were collected from four different ecologic zones in Colombia and cultured for the presence of pathogenic fungi. H. capsulatum was recovered from only three animals, suggesting that Chiroptera do not play an important role in the epidemiology of histoplasmosis in Colombia.

Analysis was made of the various surveys of bats done in different geographic regions and of the habits and species of Chiroptera reported naturally infected with H. capsulatum. It was concluded that the habitat in which a bat roosts is a major factor in determining whether the animal will acquire histoplasmosis. Results of the various surveys suggest that rates of H. capsulatum infection in bats and man are unrelated and the Chiroptera do not play an important role in the epidemiology of histoplasmosis.

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