I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2020 Sep 24


Epidemiology of Cryptococcus and cryptococcosis in Western Africa.


Lynda Akaihe C, Nweze E I
Mycoses. 2020 Sep 24.
PMID: 32969547.


Cryptococcosis is a serious and sometimes fatal fungal disease caused by Cryptococcus species. Worldwide, it is estimated to kill over 180,000 annually, with 75% of deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Though cryptococcal infections are rare in otherwise healthy individuals, there have been reported cases in immunocompetent persons. Most cases occur in individuals who have weakened immune systems, particularly those with advanced HIV/AIDS, thus making West Africa a potential hotspot of the disease. Despite this, there is no recent review article with a focus on published findings on cryptococcosis in Western Africa. Common clinical symptoms include chest pain, dry cough, headache, nausea, confusion, fever, fatigue and stiffness of the neck/neurological impairment. The CNS and the lung remains its preferred target even though rare cases of attack on other parts of the body were reported in this review. Cryptococcal antigen screening and India ink preparation were the most commonly used diagnostic methods. Repeated isolation from environmental samples was observed. Overall, data on the clinical prevalence of Cryptococcus is scarce and variable in the region. The environmental prevalence ranges from 2.3-22%. This review covers all published research findings on cryptococcosis in West Africa till date. The epidemiological data will likely be of interest to clinicians within and outside the continent. The nations covered in this review include; Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cote d'ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. More studies are warranted to fill the observed gaps on the epidemiology of Cryptococcus in the region.