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Cryptococcus is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Yeast-like, round fungus; usual size is 5-10µm with polysaccharide capsule [Fig].
    • Reproduces by narrow-based budding.
  • Epidemiology: worldwide in soil, high levels in pigeon droppings (but this relevance is questionable for human disease).
  • Two species:
    • C. neoformans historically divided into 4 serotypes (A to D) described based upon the capsule components with 2 species and 2 varieties causing human disease. Now based on genotypic evaluation, proposed:
      • Serotype A: now known as C. neoformans v. grubii
      • Serotypes B and C: C. gattii
      • Serotype D: C. neoformans v. neoformans (most common) and worldwide in distribution
    • C. gattii: more recently detected and seen primarily in Australia, Western Canada and northwestern U.S. (Washington and Oregon).
      • Clinical presentation and diagnosis and treatment are the same as with C. neoformans.
      • Differences from C. neoformans include higher attack rates in healthy hosts, and worse prognosis.
      • Appears more resistant to fluconazole.
      • True extent of infection/epidemiology not known.

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Last updated: February 5, 2019


Auwaerter, Paul G, and John G Bartlett. "Cryptococcus." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2019. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540147/all/Cryptococcus_species.
Auwaerter PG, Bartlett JG. Cryptococcus. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540147/all/Cryptococcus_species. Accessed March 19, 2019.
Auwaerter, P. G., & Bartlett, J. G. (2019). Cryptococcus. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540147/all/Cryptococcus_species
Auwaerter PG, Bartlett JG. Cryptococcus [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. [cited 2019 March 19]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540147/all/Cryptococcus_species.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Cryptococcus ID - 540147 A1 - Auwaerter,Paul,M.D. AU - Bartlett,John,M.D. Y1 - 2019/02/05/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540147/all/Cryptococcus_species PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -