Infections and Epidemiology of Cryptococcus Species

Jeng-Fong Lin 1, Ji-Jia Huang2, Kuo-Wei Chen1, Shu-Ying Li1

2014 Vol.30 NO.3

Correspondence Author: Shu-Ying Li

  • 1.Center for Research, Diagnostics and Vaccine Development, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2.Division of Acute Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


       Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are the major cause of cryptococcosis presenting primarily with meningitis and pneumonia. Cryptococcus spp. has been the most common cause of opportunistic fungal infections in HIV-infected individuals worldwide. With the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the mid-1990s and the subsequent availability of azole drugs, the incidence of cryptococcal meningitis has decreased dramatically. In Taiwan, approximately 600~800 cryptococcal cases occurred annually during 2002-2011. In 1999, the occurrence of an outbreak of C. gattii in North America has raised worldwide concern. Cryptococcus spp. is ubiquitous in the environment. Cryptococcus spp. infections can infect both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed people. Climate change due to global warming may facilitate the spread of Cryptococcus spp. Therefore, enhanced diagnosis and surveillance is essential.