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J Assoc Physicians India. 2012 Dec;60:21-4.

Think fungus NOT just a crypto-meningitis in AIDS!

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  • 1HIV Medicine, Sir JJ Hospital, Mumbai.


Extrapulmonary cryptococcosis has been defined as AIDS defining illness in HIV infected people. Cryptococcal meningitis is the commonest meningitis with advanced immune deficiency. Therefore clinicians ask for tests only for detection of cryptococci which may be misleading. A prospective study of suspected fungal meningitis with CSF fungal culture is carried out.


70 ART naive cases of suspected fungal meningitis in HIV cases were subjected to CSF cytochemistry, smear exam and CSF fungal culture.


The CSF culture was positive in 75.6% cases of these 21 were C. Neoformans as against 28 of Rhodotorula. In addition candida, aspergillus, geotrichum, trichosporon were isolated.


Apart from c. neoformans, other fungi also cause meningitis. Each case of suspected fungal meningitis, may be subjected for CSF fungal culture for proper and adequate management. If facility for fungal culture is not available and if CSF smear shows evidence of fungal infection then standard therapy with Amphotericin may be instituted earlier to reduce mortality. This is the largest series isolating Rhodotorula from CSF in AIDS patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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