Fungal meningitis is usually caused by a type of fungus called Cryptococcus. This rare type of meningitis is most likely to strike people with weak immune systems. Fungal meningitis is not contagious.
The fungi are usually inhaled and then spread by the blood to the central nervous system; fungi may also be directly inserted into the central nervous system by medical techniques or enter from an infected site near the central nervous system to cause meningitis.
Risk factors include any disease or treatment that may weaken the immune system, surgical procedures and medications may introduce fungi into the central nervous system, and other factors such as pregnancy or living in areas that have high fungal concentrations in the soil or air increase the risk of fungal meningitis.