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Cryptococcosis – causes, side effects and treatments at

Friday, February 23, 2018 by

People who are at most risk of getting infected with cryptococcosis are those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), diabetes mellitus, hepatic cirrhosis, hematological malignancies, corticosteroid therapy, sarcoidosis (inflammation in the lungs and lymph glands), connective tissue disorders, novel immunosuppressive antibody therapies (for example, infliximab), and those who have had solid organ transplant (for example, liver transplant).

Known side effects of cryptococcosis

The symptoms of cryptococcosis may include fever, headache, or a change in mental conditioning. The incubation period differs for different Cryptococcus species; for instance, symptoms from C. gattii infection can be felt between two and 11 months after exposure, while the incubation period for C. neoformans is yet to be known.

C. gattii is found in the tropics and is most prevalent in Vancouver Island in Canada.

Body systems harmed by cryptococcosis

Cryptococcosis is bad for the respiratory system. The infection starts in the lungs (pulmonary form), and may then reach the brain urinary tract, skin, and/or bones (disseminated form). When the infection stops at the lungs, the symptoms may not be felt at all. Some of the minor symptoms that can be caused by an infection of the lungs include coughing and chest pain.

Cryptococcosis is bad for the nervous system. When the infection goes past the lungs, it tends to seek the brain, causing inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Meningitis symptoms include dizziness, a stiffness of the neck, blurred vision, and/or a severe headache.

Cryptococcosis also causes ataxia, which is characterized by a lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements that include gait abnormality, and aphasia, which is language impairment characterized by loss of the comprehension of speech and the ability to read and write.

Cryptococcosis is bad for the integumentary system. It can cause skin breakouts such as nodules, papules, and pustules.

Cryptococcosis is bad for the skeletal system. It can cause osteomyelitis, which is an infection in the bone, usually of the legs and upper arms.

Cryptococcosis is bad for the ocular system. It can cause chorioretinitis, which is an inflammation of the choroid or the pigmented vascular coat of the eye and the retina.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent cryptococcosis

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help prevent fungal infections. Among the vitamins and minerals that would help a lot include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. Foods that can be good in preventing fungal infections include fruits like grapefruit, grape, lemon, melon, orange, plum, sweet lime, and other citrus fruits; and grains like rice, millet, barley, corn, oats, and wheat.

Treatments, management plans for cryptococcosis

The cryptococcal antigen test is a fast test that can be done on blood and/or on cerebrospinal fluid to make the diagnosis. Cryptococcosis and cryptococcal infections such as meningoencephalitis can be treated with amphotericin B formulation, with or without flucytosine. Both amphotericin and flucytosine are used to treat serious Candida infections and cryptococcosis.

Fluconazole, on the other hand, is utilized for maintenance therapy in HIV-infected patients with cryptococcal meningoencephalitis.

C. neoformans spreads via bird droppings, specifically, pigeon droppings. People who have weakened immune systems should not go to areas that are contaminated by birds, and avoid birds altogether. Recommendations for preventing the spread of C. gattii are yet to be given.

Where to learn more


The symptoms of cryptococcosis may include fever, headache, or a change in mental conditioning.

Cryptococcosis is bad for the respiratory, nervous, integumentary, skeletal, and ocular systems.

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help prevent fungal infections.

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