C. gattii cryptococcosis is an uncommon ailment caused by the inhalation of a tiny fungus or contaminated dirt containing encapsulated yeasts. Cryptococcus gattii is a fungus that has the potential to cause cryptococcosis. Cryptococcosis commonly affects the lungs or the central nervous system, although it can affect other regions of the body as well. Meningitis produced by C. gattii and other Cryptococcus species is known as cryptococcal meningitis. C. gattii is primarily linked with trees, particularly eucalyptus, which are prevalent in tropical and subtropical climates. Unlike C. neoformans, C. gattii is not connected with birds and is more capable of infecting immunocompetent hosts.


Although it can affect other body organs, C. gattii typically affects the lungs or the central nervous system. The symptoms of the infection differ according to the body sections involved.

In the lungs

An infection in the lungs caused by C. gattii cryptococcosis may cause symptoms that are similar to pneumonia. Among the symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Cough

In the brain 

After spreading from the lungs to the brain, C. gattii and other varieties of Cryptococcus cause an infection known as cryptococcal meningitis. The signs and symptoms of cryptococcal meningitis:

  • Fever
  • Neck pain
  • Confusion or changes in behavior
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light


C. gattii cryptococcosis is diagnosed based on a people’s clinical and travel background, signs, medical examination, and laboratory tests. A tissue or body fluid sample (like blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or sputum) will be collected by your medical provider and sent to a laboratory for inspection under a microscope, antigen testing, or culture. Your medical doctor may also suggest further tests, like an x-ray of your chest or a CT scan of your lungs, brain, or other body parts.


Individuals with C. gattii cryptococcosis must take prescription antifungal treatment for at least six months and frequently longer. The degree of the infection and the areas of the body that are affected typically determine the type of treatment.

  • Fluconazole is often prescribed to individuals with asymptomatic or mild-to-moderate lung infections.
  • The recommended first therapy for patients with severe lung infections or infections of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is a combination of liposomal amphotericin B and flucytosine. 

The kind, dosage, and duration of antifungal therapy may vary for specific populations, including pregnant women, children, and those living in areas with low resources. Some individuals may need surgery to eradicate fungal growth.

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