Encyclopedia of AIDS

Living Edition
| Editors: Thomas J. Hope, Douglas Richman, Mario Stevenson

Cryptococcosis and HIV

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9610-6_417-1


Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are encapsulated yeasts found in the environment. Cryptococcus neoformans is classically isolated from the soil and from bird guano. Cryptococcus gattii has been isolated from plants and trees, classically eucalyptus trees. This fungus infrequently causes infection in healthy persons but is also an opportunistic pathogen in persons with defects in cell-mediated immunity, such as HIV. In HIV-infected persons, those with a CD4 < 100 cell/μL are at particular risk of developing cryptococcal infection. Cryptococcus yeasts are acquired through inhalation, with ubiquitous environmental exposure (Fig. 1). As the immune system weakens, from conditions such as HIV infection, organ transplantation, cirrhosis, or corticosteroid use, the fungus can disseminate from the lungs throughout the body, including the brain, skin, and other organs.


Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome Cryptococcal Meningitis Elevated Intracranial Pressure Preemptive Therapy Cryptococcal Infection 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA