A Theory to Explain the Geographic Variations in the Prevalence of Histoplasmin Sensitivity

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  • Tennessee Department of Public Health, Williamson County Tuberculosis Study, Franklin, Tennessee


A soil theory is offered to explain the geographic variations in histoplasmin sensitivity in the United States and the world. It is suggested that the red-yellow podzolic soils, because of their peculiar characteristics, provide the best natural habitat for the growth of H. capsulatum. The theory is tested by comparing the prevalence of histoplasmin sensitivity in areas with red-yellow podzolic soils and in areas with other soils. The percentage of histoplasmin reactors is significantly higher in locales with red-yellow podzolic soils.