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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Genetic study of Histoplasma Capsulatum


Histoplasmosis is a relatively common and life-threatening disease in dogs and cats in OK and surrounding states. Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection caused by H. capsulatumH. capsulatum is found around the world and has traditionally been separated into three varieties based on geographic location.  More recently, genetic studies have shown that there are more varieties than once thought. 

In conjunction with the CDC, this study will investigate the genetic make-up of H. capsulatum causing disease in dogs and cats. Understanding the genetic make-up of H. capsulatum is very important as it might affect characteristics such as which dogs or cats are at risk, where the infection might spread, the severity of infection and how the disease might respond to treatment.  In addition, this study might help develop prevention strategies in both animals and humans.  This study will non-invasively collect samples from dogs and cats with histoplasmosis and investigate the genetic make-up of the infecting H. capsulatum organisms. There are financial incentives for study involvement.

Eligible Candidates

Any dog or cat that has suspected or confirmed histoplasmosis is a candidate. Histoplasmosis can affect any organ and common clinical signs include weight loss, decreased activity, fever, difficulty breathing, swollen spleen and lymph nodes, diarrhea, skin lesions and joint pain, and swelling. Your veterinarian might be suspicious of histoplasmosis based on clinical signs, physical examination findings or the results of routine diagnostic tests.


For more information or to refer a patient for evaluation and possible inclusion in this clinical study, please contact Dr. Andrew Hanzlicek at the Veterinary Medical Hospital at 405-744-7000.