Histoplasma Capsulatum in Fecal Contents and Organs of Bats in the Canal Zone

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  • Mycotic and Bacterial Disease Section, USAMRU, Middle America Research Unit, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone


Histoplasma capsulatum was recovered from tissues of 62 of 623 bats collected in the Canal Zone and the Republic of Panama. The culturally positive species were Carollia perspiculata, Chilonycteris rubiginosa, Micronycteris megalotis, Molossus major, Glossophaga soricina and Phyllostomus hastatus.

The fungus was isolated repeatedly from the feces of Chilonycteris rubiginosa and Micronycteris megalotis. Quantitative estimates of H. capsulatum in feces revealed that up to 2000 fungi could be demonstrated in the fecal contents at any one time. The sources of the positive cultures were lesions readily demonstrable in the intestinal mucosa.

The importance of the presence of the fungus in intestinal contents as it relates to the seeding of the soil and infection in man and other genera of bats is discussed.

Author Notes

International Research Associate, USPHS.

Chief, Mycotic and Bacterial Disease Section.