Interpretive Handbook

Test 83853 :
Histoplasma capsulatum Antibody Screen, Serum

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Histoplasma capsulatum is a soil saprophyte that grows well in soil enriched with bird droppings.


The usual disease is self-limited, affects the lungs, and is asymptomatic.


Chronic cavitary pulmonary disease, disseminated disease, and meningitis may occur and can be fatal, especially in young children and in immunosuppressed patients.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Evaluating persons with symptoms of respiratory disease, as an aid in the presumptive laboratory diagnosis of Histoplasma infection

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Negative: Indicates antibodies to Histoplasma were not detected. The absence of antibodies is presumptive evidence that the patient was not infected with Histoplasma. However, the specimen may have been drawn before antibodies were detectable, or the patient may be immunosuppressed. If infection is suspected, another specimen should be drawn 7 to 14 days later and tested.


Equivocal: Specimens with equivocal EIA results will be tested by complement fixation and immunodiffusion.


Positive: The presence of antibodies is presumptive evidence that the patient was previously or is currently infected with (or exposed to) Histoplasma. These specimens will be tested by complement fixation and immunodiffusion for confirmation.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

The use of this assay has not been established for screening the general population or for monitoring therapy.


The performance of this assay has not been established for ruling out diseases with similar symptoms, eg, diseases caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Coccidioides immitis, Aspergillus fumigatus, Blastomyces dermatitidis,Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, or other pathogens.


The performance of this assay has not been established for matrices other than serum.


All results from this and other serologies must be correlated with clinical history, epidemiological data, and other data available to the attending physician in evaluating the patient.


The prevalence of infection will affect the assay's predictive value.


The test can be positive with persons who are not currently infected with Histoplasma. Antibodies may be present because of a past infection.


The test can be negative with persons who are currently infected with Histoplasma. Specimens obtained very early in the infection may not have detectable antibodies.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.


Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Kaufman L, Kovacs JA, Reiss E: Clinical immunomycology. In Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology. Fifth edition. Washington DC, ASP Press, 1997