Pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans

Erin E. McClelland, Arturo Casadevall, Helene C. Eisenman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) is a fungal pathogen, commonly found in urban environments (Tampieri, 2006) that primarily affects immunocompromised individuals through inhalation of spores. In healthy individuals Cn infection is usually cleared, or can remain in a latent form for prolonged periods of time. However, in individuals with impaired immune function, the infection may spread to the central nervous system (CNS), causing life-threatening meningitis (Casadevall & Perfect, 1998; Hull & Heitman, 2002). Thus, the disease is relatively common in AIDS patients. A recent study shows that the prevalence of cryptococcosis has declined with the increasing availability of highly active retroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV (Lortholary et al., 2006; Mirza et al., 2003). However, the disease continues to be a problem for those with limited access to HAART, especially in the developing world (Banerjee et al., 2001; Marques et al., 2000). Another group of individuals who are susceptible to cryptococcosis are organ transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressive therapy (Husain et al., 2001; Vilchez et al., 2002). However, cryptococcosis is not limited to immunocompromised persons, as shown by the recent outbreak in Vancouver among healthy individuals (Hoang et al., 2004).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew Insights in Medical Mycology
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781402063978
ISBN (Print)9781402063961
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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