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 North America, Australia, and South America. Most of the reported C. gattii cases in the United States are from Oregon, Washington, and California. However, a small number of cases occur in other states.3

Public health surveillance for C. gattii infections

C. gattii infections are reportable in certain states. 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 of differences in patient characteristics, differences in the way patients are treated, and length of patient follow-up time.

  1. Galanis E, Macdougall L, Kidd S, Morshed M. Epidemiology of Cryptococcus gattii, British Columbia, Canada, 1999-2007external icon. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Feb;16(2):251-7.
  2. 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 pathogenexternal icon. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;53(12):1188-95.
  3. 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 Northwestexternal icon. Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Oct;19(10):1621-7.
  4. Chen SC, Slavin MA, Heath CH, Playford EG, Byth K, Marriott D, et al. Clinical manifestations of Cryptococcus gattiiinfection: determinants of neurological sequelae and deathexternal icon. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Sep;55(6):789-98.
  5. Lalloo D, Fisher D, Naraqi S, Laurenson I, Temu P, Sinha A, et al. Cryptococcal meningitis ( neoformansvar. gattii) leading to blindness in previously healthy Melanesian adults in Papua New Guineaexternal icon. Q J Med . 1994 Jun;87(6):343-9.