Introduction: A survey on cryptococcosis is being conducted regularly in Colombia since 1997. We present hereby the results corresponding to patients diagnosed from 2006 to 2010.
Objective: To analyze the data obtained during this period.
Materials and methods: Retrospective analysis of the corresponding surveys.
Results: A total of 526 surveys originating from 72% of the Colombian political divisions were received during the 5-year period. Most patients (76.6%) were males and 74.9% were 21-50 years old. The most prevalent risk factor was HIV infection (83.5%) with cryptococcosis defining AIDS in 23% of the cases. In the general population the estimated mean annual incidence rate for cryptococcosis was 2.4 x 106 inhabitants while in AIDS patients this rate rose to 3.3 x 103. In 474 surveys stating clinical features, most frequent complaints were headache 84.5%, fever 63.4%, nausea and vomiting 57.5%, mental alterations 46.3%, meningeal signs 33.0%, cough 26.4% and visual alterations 24.5%. Neurocryptococcosis was recorded in 81.8% of the cases. Laboratory diagnosis was based on direct examination, culture and latex in 29.3% cases. From 413 Cryptococcus isolates analyzed, 95.6% were identified as C. neoformans var. grubii, 1% C. neoformans var. neoformans, and 3.4% C. gattii. Treatment was reported for 71.6% of the cases with amphotericin B alone or in combination with fluconazole prescribed in 28%.
Conclusions: Surveys done through passive surveillance continue to be sentinel markers for HIV infection and represent a systematic approach to the study of opportunistic problems regularly afflicting AIDS patients since cryptococcosis requires no compulsory notification in Colombia.