Disseminated cryptococcal infection initially presenting as cryptococcal cellulitis in an HIV-negative patient on long-term steroids.

Research paper by Colm C Kerr, William A WA Stack, Corinna C Sadlier, Arthur A Jackson

Indexed on: 21 Dec '18Published on: 21 Dec '18Published in: BMJ case reports


Cryptococcosis is an invasive fungal infection caused by encapsulated yeasts of the species. Inoculation usually occurs by inhalation through the respiratory tract, where it can then spread haematogenously to various sites, such as the central nervous system or the skin, in susceptible patients. We present the case of a 68-year-old male patient on long-term steroids who presented with a right upper limb cellulitis not responding to antibiotics. This was subsequently diagnosed as cryptococcal cellulitis on an urgent skin biopsy. Wound swabs and blood cultures, which were initially negative, were repeated and confirmed the presence of disseminated cryptococcal disease. The patient's neighbours kept racing pigeons and this was hypothesised as a potential source of infection. © BMJ Publishing Group Limited 2018. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.