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- Yeast-like round fungus, 5-10 µm with polysaccharide capsule
- Epidemiology: found worldwide in soil and therefore impossible to completely avoid; exposure to bird droppings increase risk of infection.
- Most common non-candidal fungal infection in HIV+ pts worldwide
- Major OI in sub-Saharan Africa, Thailand, India.
- In U.S. pre-HAART era, 5-8% of HIV+ pts developed cryptococcosis. Dramatically reduced incidence in HAART era.
- Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans (serotypes A and D).
- Cryptococcus gattii previously known as cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii (serotypes B and C, rare in HIV). Now classified as separate species.
- Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (has been used to designate serotype A).