Pulmonary cryptococcosis infection

What is Pulmonary Cryptococcosis?

Pulmonary cryptococcosis is a type of opportunistic infection caused by the fungus Cryptococcus. It usually affects people with weakened immune systems, including those living with HIV/AIDS. Pulmonary cryptococcosis typically affects the lungs, but may also affect other organs, such as the brain. Symptoms of the infection can include coughing, fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Diagnosis is made through a variety of tests.

Symptoms of Pulmonary Cryptococcosis

The most common symptom of pulmonary cryptococcosis is a persistent, dry cough. Other possible symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue

Causes of Pulmonary Cryptococcosis

Pulmonary cryptococcosis is caused by the fungus Cryptococcus, which is found in soil. The fungus enters the body through the respiratory system and then can spread to other organs, such as the brain and other internal organs. People with weakened immune systems, such as those living with HIV/AIDS, are more susceptible to the infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Cryptococcosis

Diagnosis of pulmonary cryptococcosis is made through a variety of tests, such as chest X-rays, sputum tests, and blood tests. Treatment typically includes both antifungal medication and immune system-strengthening drugs. The treatment plan depends on the severity of the infection. In severe cases of pulmonary cryptococcosis, surgery may be necessary.

Preventing Pulmonary Cryptococcosis

Because pulmonary cryptococcosis is most often seen in people with weakened immune systems, the best way to prevent the infection is to ensure that the immune system is as strong as possible. Vaccinations against certain diseases, regular exercise, and a healthy diet are all important for maintaining a healthy immune system.