Cryptococcus neoformans


Cryptococcus neoformans


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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Cryptococcus neoformans

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 34-year-old man comes to his physician to evaluate headaches and fever for the last ten days. The patient has noticed that his energy to perform his daily activities has decreased. He was diagnosed with HIV six years ago but has not been taking his antiretroviral medications. His temperature is 38.5 C° (101.3 F°), blood pressure is 125/75 mmHg, and pulse is 90/minute. CSF analysis reveals increased protein and decreased glucose. A microscopic examination of the CSF is shown in the image below. Which is the most likely cause of this patient’s condition?

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Cryptococcus neoformans p. , 150

HIV-positive adults p. 174

stains for p. 123


Cryptococcus neoformans p. , 150

Immunocompromised patients

Cryptococcus neoformans p. , 150


Cryptococcus neoformans p. , 150


Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated yeast known to cause cryptococcal meningitis. This form of meningitis is mostly seen in immunocompromised individuals such as those with HIV/AIDS, or those who have had a recent organ transplant. Cryptococcus neoformans is naturally found in soil and pigeon feces. Symptoms include headache and neck pain, nausea, photophobia, vomiting, and fever.


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