Cryptococcosis is the most serious
the fungal infection
s in people diagnosed with AIDS
It is usually seen as cryptococcal meningitis
It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of
AIDS patients will experience cryptococcal infection
at some point during the course of the disease,
often as the first opportunistic infection experienced.
Without treatment, cryptococcosis is always fatal.
Current therapies can usually suppress cryptococcosis in
patients if the initial weeks of acute symptoms are survived.
Cryptococcosis is caused by a yeast-like organism,
Cryptococcus neoformans. This fungus is not geographically
restriced, and is common in all environments, especially
in soil containing bird excrement. Exposure occurs when
contaminated sources become airborne and are inhaled.