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Cryptococcosis Diagnosis and Testing

This 800X magnification photomicrograph shows a sample of lung tissue infected with Cryptococcus fungal organisms. Credit: CDC, 1971.

This 800X magnification photomicrograph shows a sample of lung tissue infected with Cryptococcus fungal organisms.

Diagnosis of a C. neoformans infection can be made by microscopic examination and/or culture of tissue or body fluids such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and sputum. In addition, the cryptococcal antigen test is a rapid test that can be performed on blood and/or cerebrospinal fluid to make the diagnosis. A fungal culture is essential to differentiate between the different species of Cryptococcus - C. neoformans cannot currently be distinguished from C. gattii without special laboratory tests, which are available through state public health laboratories.

For more information on the diagnosis, prevention and management of cryptococcal disease in HIV-infected adults, adolescents and children, visit the World Health Organization.

 
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