Publication Date



Clinical Infectious Diseases


BACKGROUND: Invasive fungal infections have been described throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Cryptococcal disease after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been reported in several isolated case reports and 1 larger case series. We sought to describe cryptococcal infections following SARS-CoV-2 through establishing a database to investigate underlying risk factors, disease manifestations, and outcomes.

METHODS: We created a crowdsourced call for cases solicited through the Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emerging Infectious Diseases Network, and infectious diseases Twitter groups. Data were collected in a web-based and secure REDCap survey without personal identifiers.

RESULTS: Sixty-nine cases were identified and submitted by 29 separate institutional sites. Cryptococcosis was diagnosed a median of 22 days (interquartile range, 9-42 days) after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mortality among those with available follow-up was 72% (26/36) for the immunocompetent group and 48% (15/31) for the immunocompromised group (likelihood ratio, 4.01; P = .045). We observed a correlation between disease manifestation (central nervous system infection, proven/probable disseminated disease, and respiratory) and mortality (P = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: The mortality rate of 59% for patients with cryptococcosis following SARS-CoV-2 is higher than that of modern Cryptococcus cohorts. There was an association between immunocompromised status and cryptococcal disease manifestations as well as mortality. Moreover, our series emphasizes the need for clinical and laboratory assessment of opportunistic infections beyond 30 days when concerning symptoms develop.


Humans, COVID-19, Pandemics, SARS-CoV-2, Cryptococcosis, Cryptococcus



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.