Cryptococcus neoformans is an important pathogen in immunocompromised individuals, particularly the HIV population. This encapsulated yeast has a diverse spectrum of clinical disease. In healthy people it may appear as a harmless organism colonizing the airways; however, in those who are immunocompromised, the organism can cause meningitis and serious disseminated disease. Since the mid-1980s, most cryptococcal disease has occurred in patients with AIDS. It is estimated that about 10% of patients with AIDS have either cryptococcal lung or brain infections, and nearly 60% of these individuals will die of these infection if they are left untreated. Despite prompt anti-fungal therapy, many individuals have therapeutic failures and relapses are common. When the diagnosis of cryptococcus is made, it is recommended that an infectious disease expert be consulted to evaluate the patient and help with the treatment management plan.
The goal of this continuing education program is to provide pharmacists with adequate information about cryptococcus, its epidemiology, how it affects the brain and its management, especially in patients with AIDS. After studying the material presented here, you will be able to:
- Describe cryptococcus, its epidemiology and clinical presentation.
- Discuss the differences between C. neoformans and C. gattii.
- List the different drugs used to treat cryptococcus of the brain and describe the limitations of each drug.
This course is designed for pharmacists.
Gannett Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.
Type of Activity: Knowledge
Initial Release Date: 01/30/2012; Planned Expiration Date: 01/30/2015