Home Magazines Editors-in-Chief FAQs Contact Us

Cryptococcus neoformans and cryptococcosis: a contribution made by Prof. Dr. Mahendra Pal


Mycotic infections are reported to occur in both sexes, all age groups, in all seasons, and in urban and rural areas of the world. The people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get an infection due to fungi, which are widely prevalent in our environment. Cryptococcosis primarily caused by Cryptococcus neoformans is a lifethreatening enigmatic mycosis of global importance. It is estimated that 1000000 cases of cryptococcal meningitis complicating HIV/AIDS are reported every year worldwide. Disease has been encountered in humans as well as in a variety of animals including cats and dogs. The source of infection is exogenous, as the fungus occurs as a saprophyte in nature. Currently, the pigeon excreta serve as the chief saprobic reservoir of C. neoformans. Human as well as animals may acquire the infection from the environment where the fungus grows luxuriantly. The respiratory tract is recognized as the principal mode of entry of the organism. The pathogen can also enter through the fungal contaminated objects via traumatized skin. Clinical spectrum of disease is varied, as manifested with several forms, such as pulmonary, meningeal, visceral, osseous, and cutaneous. The laboratory help is imperative to confirm an unequivocal diagnosis of cryptococcosis. The pathogen can be easily isolated from the clinical specimens of the patients on Pal sunflower seed medium. Modified Pal sunflower seed can be employed to undertake the sexual compatibility studies of Cr. neoformans. Several drugs including amphotericin B, fluconazole, and itraconazole have been recommended for the treatment of disease. The immediate attention to the skin injury and use of face mask when dealing with avian droppings can help in the prevention of infection


Cryptococcus neoformans, cryptococcosis, AIDS, meningitis, pal sunflower seed medium, public health