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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2013 Nov;12(11):1261-72. doi: 10.1586/14760584.2013.840094.

Cryptococcus antigens and immune responses: implications for a vaccine.

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Department of Biology and The South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas, San Antonio, TX, USA.


Cryptococcosis is a fungal disease primarily occurring in immunocompromised individuals, such as AIDS patients, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. However, cryptococcosis can occur within immunocompetent populations as observed during an outbreak in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, the Pacific Northwest and other regions of the USA and in Mediterranean Europe. Mortality rates due to cryptococcosis have significantly declined in economically developed countries since the widespread implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy. However, the incidence and mortality of this disease remains high in economically undeveloped areas in Africa and Asia where HIV infections are high and availability of HAART is limited. The continuing AIDS epidemic coupled with the increased usage of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection or to treat autoimmune diseases has resulted in an increase in individuals at risk for developing cryptococcosis. The purpose of this review is to discuss the need, challenges and potential for developing vaccines against cryptococcosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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