NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour light micrograph of a parasitic, yeastlike fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum, the spores of which, when inhaled, cause a respiratory disease called histoplasmosis. The primary pulmonary form is usually harmless. Occasionally a progressive histoplasmosis develops which resembles tuberculosis. Histoplasmin, an antigenic material, is produced from the fungus to test against the disease. H.capsulatum has a mycelial form (seen here) which is found in soil enriched by animal excrement. The spores are produced by the hyphae, the threadlike structures.
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