Cryptococcosis is a major opportunistic mycosis which has meningitis as its most frequent clinical presentation and can be fatal in the absence of antifungal therapy. The aetiological agents are Cryptococcus neoformans, which affects mainly immunocompromised subjects, and C. gattii, the aetiologic agent for cryptococcosis in healthy individuals. A recent outbreak of cryptococcosis on Vancouver Island, Canada, raised the level of concern about the epidemiology of this disease. In Brazil, between 1980 and 2002, six per cent of AIDS patients had cryptococcosis in course at the time of diagnosis. To identify the profile of cryptococcal meningitis patients in Rio Grande do Sul (RS), Brazil, a retroactive study was realized using data from patients registered at Laboratorio Central de Saude Publica IPB-LACEN/RS from 2000 to 2005. Most of the patients were men (77.12%), Caucasian (83.5%), median age between thirty and thirty-nine years old (46.24%) and HIV positive (95%). 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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