Atypical forms of Cryptococcus neoformans in CSF of an AIDS patient

  • Amedeo J. Bava Mycology, University of La Plata, Buenos Aires
  • Ruben Solari Infectious Diseases “Francisco J. Muñiz” Hospital, Buenos Aires
  • Guillermina Isla Department of Mycology, ANLIS “Carlos Malbrán”, Buenos Aires
  • Alcides Troncoso Microbiology and Parasitology and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Buenos Aires University, Buenos Aires
Keywords: Cryptococcosis, microscopy for yeast, atypical micromorphology


The microscopic recognition of typical rounded capsulated yeasts in centrifuged cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), stained with India ink, is a common, rapid and effective method for the diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis among AIDS patients. The presence of atypical forms of Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans in samples of CSF of an AIDS patient with cryptococcosis treated at the University Hospital of Infectious Disease is presented. The India ink microscopy of three consecutive CSF samples revealed capsulated yeast with India ink particles in the deteriorated capsules and capsulated pseudohyophae. Clinically, the patient showed a subacute meningoencephalitis, with a clinical picture not particularly different from those commonly observed in patients with AIDS-associated cryptococcosis treated in our hospital. In all cases, the culture of the CSF showed colonies of C. neoformans with typical macro and micromorphology, and the in vitro susceptibility tests to amphotericin B, fluocitosine, itraconazole and fluconazole showed MIC values into the limits of sensitivity. The presence of atypical forms of C. neoformans, considered as an atypical finding, could be the consequence of an adaptive phenomenon of this fungal species to an impaired immunological status present in the host.


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How to Cite
Bava AJ, Solari R, Isla G, Troncoso A (2008) Atypical forms of Cryptococcus neoformans in CSF of an AIDS patient. J Infect Dev Ctries 2:403-405. doi: 10.3855/jidc.207
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