Cerebral Cryptococcosis Associated with CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia in Non-HIV Patients after SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Case Series in a Specialized Institute in Lima, Peru

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Publications, Uncategorized

Trop Med Infect Dis. 2023 Mar 22;8(3):182. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed8030182.


Cases of cryptococcosis have been reported in patients with COVID-19. The majority are in patients with severe symptoms or who received immunosuppressants. However, there is still no clear association between COVID-19 and cryptococcosis. We report eight cases of cerebral cryptococcosis associated with CD4+ T lymphocytopenia in non-HIV patients after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The median age was 57 years and 5/8 were male. In addition, 2/8 of patients had diabetes, and 8/8 had a history of mild COVID-19, with a median of 75 days before diagnosis of cerebral cryptococcosis. All patients denied having received prior immunosuppressive therapy. The most frequent symptoms were confusion (8/8), headache (7/8), vomiting (6/8), and nausea (6/8) All patients were diagnosed by isolating Cryptococcus in cerebrospinal fluid. The median CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes were 247 and 173.5, respectively. Other causes of immunosuppression, such as HIV or HTLV infection, were excluded in all patients. Finally, three patients died, and one presented long-term visual and auditory sequelae. The CD4+/CD8+ T lymphocyte count normalized during follow-up in those patients who survived. We hypothesize that CD4+ T lymphocytopenia in the patients in this case series could increase the risk of cryptococcosis after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

PMID:36977183 | DOI:10.3390/tropicalmed8030182

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