Latin America is the region with the third most AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis infections globally. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has reduced the number of infections; however, the number of deaths and the case-fatality rate continues to be unacceptable. In this review, we focus on the burden of AIDS-related cryptococcosis in Latin America and discuss potential strategies to reduce early mortality from Cryptococcus. In this review, we highlight the importance of: (1) earlier HIV diagnosis and HAART initiation with retention-in-care to avoid AIDS; (2) pre-HAART cryptococcal antigen (CRAG) screening with preemptive fluconazole treatment; (3) better diagnostics (e.g. CRAG testing); and (4) optimal treatment with aggressive management of intracranial pressure and induction therapy with antifungal combination. Implementation of these strategies can reduce cryptococcal-related deaths, improve care, and reduce healthcare costs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Marcia Polon from the Division of Epidemiology Surveillance of the Centro de Referência em Treinamento em DST/AIDS from São Paulo State, Brazil, for the data about AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis from Sao Paulo State. DRB receives support from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ( K23AI073192 ).
- Cryptococcal meningitis
- Latin America