Nucleic Acid Detection of the Fungal Pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum from Clinical and Environmental Samples

This invention relates to detecting Histoplasma capsulatum by PCR using oligonucleotide probes specific for the fungus. Histoplasmosis is a mycotic infection of varying severity, usually localized in the lungs. Caused by H. capsulatum, infections are usually symptomatic but can develop into chronic disease, especially in immunocompromised individuals.

Test samples may originate from the environment (soil, for example), where H. capsulatum spores are found or from clinical samples obtained from patients. Furthermore, the invention also provides for methods that detect the presence of H. capsulatum in a sample using a nested, or two-stage, PCR assay.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Directing antifungal drug therapy for improved patient outcomes
  • Occupational health and safety screening for workers who may encounter bird or bat waste
  • Screening biological or soil samples for the presence of fungal pathogens
  • Environment testing for immunocompromised patients
  • Rapid and precise
  • Cost-effective
  • Easily adapted for H. capsulatum detection kits
  • Can positively identify small sample sizes of as few as 10 spores
  • High-throughput capable

Development Stage:
In vitro data available

Related Invention(s):


Thomas Reid (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Millie Schafer (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 6,469,156 issued 2002-10-22
PCT Application No. PCT/US1999/008731 filed on 1999-04-20
US Application No. 09/673,298 filed on 2001-01-12

Reid TM, Schafer MP. PMID 10441199
CDC Fact Sheet: Histoplasmosis

Licensing Contact:
Karen Surabian, J.D., M.B.A.
Phone: 301-594-9719

OTT Reference No: E-313-2013-0
Updated: May 7, 2018