C. gattii Infection Statistics
How common are C. gattii infections?
C. gattii infections are rare. Worldwide, many of the reported cases of C. gattii infections have occurred in Papua New Guinea, Australia, and South America. C. gattii infections have also been occurring in British Columbia, Canada since 1999 (218 cases reported during 1999 – 2007)1 and in the US Pacific Northwest since 2004 (96 cases reported to CDC during December 2004 – July 2011).2 Nearly all of the reported C. gattii cases in the US are from Oregon, Washington, and California. However, a small number of cases occur in other states.3
Public health surveillance for C. gattii infections
In Oregon and Washington, healthcare providers and laboratories are required to report cases of C. gattii infection to public health authorities. In states where C. gattii infection isn’t reportable to state or local health authorities, healthcare providers are encouraged to report culture-confirmed cases to CDC by filling out a case report form and faxing it to the number indicated on the form. Laboratories are also encouraged to send C. gattii isolates to the Mycotic Diseases Branch Laboratory through your state public health laboratory along with the appropriate clinical information. For information on how to confirm a C. gattii infection in a patient with cryptococcosis, please contact the Mycotic Diseases Branch by calling 800-CDC-INFO or submitting a request through CDC-INFO.
Deaths due to C. gattii infections
In published studies from Australia; Papua New Guinea; British Columbia, Canada; and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the mortality rate among patients who have C. gattii infections ranges from 13 to 33%.1,2,4,5 The difference in the percent of people who die in different geographic areas is likely because because of differences in patient characteristics, differences in the way patients are treated, and length of patient follow-up time.
- Galanis E, Macdougall L, Kidd S, Morshed M. Epidemiology of Cryptococcus gattii, British Columbia, Canada, 1999-2007. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Feb;16(2):251-7.
- Harris JR, Lockhart SR, Debess E, Marsden-Haug N, Goldoft M, Wohrle R, et al. Cryptococcus gattii in the United States: clinical aspects of infection with an emerging pathogen. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;53(12):1188-95.
- Harris JR, Lockhart SR, Sondermeyer G, Vugia DJ, Crist MB, D'Angelo MT, et al. Cryptococcus gattii Infections in Multiple States Outside the US Pacific Northwest. Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Oct;19(10):1621-7.
- Chen SC, Slavin MA, Heath CH, Playford EG, Byth K, Marriott D, et al. Clinical manifestations of Cryptococcus gattii infection: determinants of neurological sequelae and death. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Sep;55(6):789-98.
- Lalloo D, Fisher D, Naraqi S, Laurenson I, Temu P, Sinha A, et al. Cryptococcal meningitis (C. neoformans var. gattii) leading to blindness in previously healthy Melanesian adults in Papua New Guinea. The Quarterly journal of medicine. 1994 Jun;87(6):343-9.