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Symptoms of Cryptococcosis

Infection with C. neoformans may cause a pneumonia-like illness. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, and fever. C. neoformans can also infect the central nervous system and cause inflammation of the brain and meninges, which is called meningoencephalitis. Symptoms of a central nervous infection may include fever, headache, or a change in mental status. If you experience symptoms that you think may be related to Cryptococcus neoformans, it is important to see your doctor right away.

Clincial Features (information intended for healthcare providers)

Depending on the virulence of the yeast strain and the immune status of the host, C. neoformans can either cause latent infection (in which the yeast cells remain dormant in the body) or symptomatic disease.

Because the fungus enters the body through the respiratory system, infection with C. neoformans causes a pneumonia-like illness, with cough being the most common symptom. Other symptoms of acute pulmonary cryptococcosis include fever, chest pain, and weight loss.

C. neoformans can also disseminate to the central nervous system and cause meningoencephalitis. Symptoms of a central nervous infection may include fever, headache, lethargy, and mental status changes. Central nervous system infections with Cryptococcus are more common among people who have weakened immune systems, particularly those with HIV infection. In patients who are severely immunosuppressed, cryptococcal infection can also disseminate to the skin, eyes, bones, and joints.

C. neoformans meningitis may lead to permanent neurologic damage. Mortality rate varies by geographic location and access to medical care.

 
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