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Open AccessCommunication

Shift in Epidemiology of Cryptococcal Infections in Ottawa with High Mortality in Non-HIV Immunocompromised Patients

1
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada
2
Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada
3
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada
4
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
5
Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2019, 5(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof5040104
Received: 14 October 2019 / Revised: 3 November 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 10 November 2019
Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungus that can cause life-threatening infections. While human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive status historically had the highest risk for cryptococcal infection and was associated with high mortality rates, there have been changes in HIV treatment and the epidemiology of other acquired immunodeficiencies, such as hematological malignancies. We conducted a retrospective case series analysis of patients who had cryptococcal infections documented at the Ottawa Hospital from 2005 to 2017. The Ottawa Hospital is a tertiary care hospital and provides complex care such as chemotherapy and transplantations. There were 28 confirmed cryptococcal infections. The most common underlying condition associated with cryptococcal infection was hematological malignancy (n = 8, 29%), followed by HIV (n = 5, 18%) and solid organ transplantation (n = 4, 14%). Furthermore, while there was a decrease in the number of cryptococcal infections in HIV patients after 2010 (four to one case), the number of cases in non-HIV immunocompromised patients increased from four in the years 2005–2010 to fourteen in 2011–2017. There were nine cryptococcal-attributable deaths. The case fatality rate was highest among patients with underlying hematological malignancies (63%), followed by solid organ transplant (50%) and HIV patients (20%). In conclusion, this study showed that there may be an epidemiological shift of cryptococcal infection in Ottawa. Additionally, infections may be associated with a worse prognosis in patients with a hematological malignancy and solid organ transplant than in patients with HIV infection in the modern era. Better prevention and/or treatment is warranted for high-risk populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: cryptococcosis; human immunodeficiency virus; hematological malignancy; solid organ transplantation; epidemiology; immunocompromised; mortality cryptococcosis; human immunodeficiency virus; hematological malignancy; solid organ transplantation; epidemiology; immunocompromised; mortality
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Patel, V.; Desjardins, M.; Cowan, J. Shift in Epidemiology of Cryptococcal Infections in Ottawa with High Mortality in Non-HIV Immunocompromised Patients. J. Fungi 2019, 5, 104.

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