Cryptococcus neoformans fungus, illustration

Cryptococcus neoformans fungus, illustration

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Credit: KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cryptococcus neoformans fungus, computer illustration. C. neoformans is a yeast-like fungus that reproduces by budding. An acidic mucopolysaccharide capsule completely encloses the fungus. It can cause the disease cryptococcosis, especially in immune deficient patients, such as those with HIV/AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). It can infect the brain, causing meningitis or brain abscesses, lungs or skin. The most common clinical form is meningoencephalitis. It is caused by inhaling the fungus from soil that has been contaminated by pigeon droppings.

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