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Histoplasmosis is an infectious, but non-contagious fungal disease caused by Histoplasma capsulatum. It affects a wide variety of wild and domestic animals, and occasionally reported in poultry. H. capsulatum is a dimorphic fungus which occurs naturally in soil in warm, humid regions worldwide. The organism thrives in soil mixed with accumulation of feces, especially from birds and bats.
Chickens become infected by inhaling dust containing H. capsulatum spores. In many cases, birds are concurrently infected with other fungi, usually Aspergillus spp. and have recently undergone some sort of stressful event. Stress predisposes birds to developing fungal infections.
Duc Tan Nguyen, Ivana Bilic, Barbara Jaskulska, Michael Hess, Duc Quyet Le, Luc Ngoc Le Hua, Vu Vy Huynh, Sam Thi Nguyen and Hung Vu-Khac Prevalence and Genetic Characterization of Histomonas meleagridis in Chickens in Vietnam. Avian Dis (2015)
Poor sanitary practices, allowing accumulation of feces in soil.
Presence of bats
Recent stressful event (introduction to a new flock of birds, excessive bullying or fighting among flock members, exposure to extreme heat or cold, poor living conditions, overcrowded conditions, lack of resources such as feed or water, rough handling, predator attack or predator stalking, recent injury or sickness, etc.)