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Symptoms of C. neoformans Infection

Woman coughing

Cough is a common symptom of Cryptococcus infection in the lungs.

C. neoformans usually infects the lungs or the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), but it can also affect other parts of the body. The symptoms of the infection depend on the parts of the body that are affected.1-4

In the lungs

A C. neoformans infection in the lungs can cause a pneumonia-like illness. The symptoms are often similar to those of many other illnesses, and can include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever

In the brain (cryptococcal meningitis)

Man holding head.  Man holding neck.

Headache, fever, and neck pain are common symptoms of cryptococcal meningitis.

Cryptococcal meningitis is an infection caused by the fungus Cryptococcus after it spreads from the lungs to the brain. The symptoms of cryptococcal meningitis include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion or changes in behavior

If you have symptoms that you think may be due to a C. neoformans infection, please contact your healthcare provider.

References

  1. Chang WC, Tzao C, Hsu HH, Lee SC, Huang KL, Tung HJ, et al. Pulmonary cryptococcosis: comparison of clinical and radiographic characteristics in immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients. Chest. 2006 Feb;129(2):333-40.
  2. Sabiiti W, May RC. Mechanisms of infection by the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Future microbiol. 2012 Nov;7(11):1297-313.
  3. Clark RA, Greer D, Atkinson W, Valainis GT, Hyslop N. Spectrum of Cryptococcus neoformans infection in 68 patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Rev Infect Dis. 1990 Sep-Oct;12(5):768-77.
  4. Bratton EW, El Husseini N, Chastain CA, Lee MS, Poole C, Sturmer T, et al. Comparison and temporal trends of three groups with cryptococcosis: HIV-infected, solid organ transplant, and HIV-negative/non-transplant. PloS one. 2012;7(8):e43582.
 
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