Cryptococcosis history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Serge Korjian M.D.; Yazan Daaboul, M.D.


The symptoms of cryptococcosis depend on the site of infection/clinical syndrome, the virulence of the yeast strain, and the immune status of the host. Patients may be completely asymptomatic, have latent infection, or have symptomatic disease. Cryptococcus infection can present as pneumonia-like illness with fever, cough, sputum production, and chest pain. Cryptococcus can also disseminate to the central nervous system and cause meningoencephalitis presenting with headache, nausea, vomiting, altered sensorium, and focal neurological deficits.[1]

History and Symptoms

The symptoms of cryptococcosis depend on the site of infection/clinical syndrome, the virulence of the yeast strain, and the immune status of the host.[2][3] Symptoms of cryptococcal infection include the following:

Pulmonary cryptococcosis

Pulmonary infection can present with the following symptoms:[4]

Central nervous system crytococcosis

Cryptococcosis of the central nervous system may present with the following symptoms:[5][6]

Cutaneous cryptococcosis

Cutaneous infection is seen in patients with HIV infection and presents as an ulcer or raised skin rash.[7]


  1. Secombe CJ, Lester GD, Krockenberger MB (2017). "Equine Pulmonary Cryptococcosis: A Comparative Literature Review and Evaluation of Fluconazole Monotherapy". Mycopathologia. 182 (3–4): 413–423. doi:10.1007/s11046-016-0065-9. PMID 27655152.
  2. Schmalzle SA, Buchwald UK, Gilliam BL, Riedel DJ (2016). "Cryptococcus neoformans infection in malignancy". Mycoses. 59 (9): 542–52. doi:10.1111/myc.12496. PMID 26932366.
  3. Maziarz EK, Perfect JR (2016). "Cryptococcosis". Infect Dis Clin North Am. 30 (1): 179–206. doi:10.1016/j.idc.2015.10.006. PMID 26897067.
  4. Jarvis JN, Harrison TS (2008). "Pulmonary cryptococcosis". Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 29 (2): 141–50. doi:10.1055/s-2008-1063853. PMID 18365996.
  5. Leonhard SE, Fritz D, van de Beek D, Brouwer MC (2016). "Cryptococcal meningitis complicating sarcoidosis". Medicine (Baltimore). 95 (35): e4587. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000004587. PMC 5008555. PMID 27583871.
  6. "Meningitis: Symptoms - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health".
  7. Christianson JC, Engber W, Andes D (2003). "Primary cutaneous cryptococcosis in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts". Med. Mycol. 41 (3): 177–88. PMID 12964709.