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Abstract

Introduction. We describe a case of progressive disseminated histoplasmosis (PDH) and disseminated cytomegalovirus (CMV) with development of haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in a 62-year-old man of Bangladeshi origin living in the UK.

Case presentation. The patient had a background of ulcerative colitis for which he took prednisolone and azathioprine. He presented with fever, lethargy, cough, weight loss and skin redness, and was initially treated for bacterial cellulitis and investigated for underlying malignancy. He developed multiple progressive erythematous skin lesions, sepsis and colitis requiring management on intensive care. A skin biopsy showed yeasts in the dermis and sub-cutaneous fat, which were confirmed as Histoplasma capsulatum by PCR. Disseminated CMV with evidence of end organ gastrointestinal disease was also diagnosed. Despite anti-viral and anti-fungal treatment, the patient deteriorated with evidence of bone marrow suppression and a diagnosis of haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis was made.

Conclusion. PDH is classically seen in patients with significant immunosuppression, e.g. those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or on anti-TNF therapy; however, we present a case of reactivation of Histoplasma in a non-HIV patient. We consider the importance of contemplating reactivation of endemic mycoses and CMV in critically unwell and deteriorating patients.

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2018-11-23
2020-01-22
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