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Epidemiological characteristics of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis associated with Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii from HIV-infected patients in Madagascar: A cross-sectional study

Abstract : Cryptococcal meningoencephalitis (CM) remains the most prevalent invasive fungal infection worldwide. The main objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of CM and cryptococcal infection in HIV-infected patients in Madagascar. The secondary objectives were to assess the adjusted prevalence of CM according to clinical presentation and patient characteristics, to determine crude 90-day survival according to cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) status and CM, and to identify the genotypes of Cryptococcus clinical isolates. This cross-sectional study was carried out at two urban hospitals in Antananarivo (central highlands) and Toamasina (east coast) between November 2014 and December 2016. Consecutive HIV-infected adults presenting with CD4 cell counts ≤200/μl were enrolled. Lateral flow immunoassays of CrAg were performed on serum for all patients, and on cerebrospinal fluid for patients with CM symptoms. MALDI-ToF MS, ITS sequencing, and determinations of the molecular and mating types of the isolates were performed. Fluconazole is the only drug for CM treatment available in Madagascar. Patients were treated orally, with high doses (1200 mg/day) for 10-12 weeks and then with 200 mg/day. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined for amphotericin B, flucytosine, voriconazole and fluconazole in E-tests. Overall prevalence was 13.2% (95% CI 7.9-20.3) for cryptococcal infection and 10.9% (95% CI 6.1-17.5) for CM, among the 129 HIV-infected patients studied. The 90-day mortality rate was 58.8% (10/17) in CrAg-positive patients and 17.9% (20/112) in CrAg-negative patients (p<0.001). The 13 Cryptococcus strains obtained at baseline were all Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii, genotypes VNI-αA (3 isolates), VNII-αA (4 isolates) or hybrid VNI/VNII-αAAα (6 isolates), suggesting high diversity. Two strains acquired fluconazole resistance after four and five months of exposure, respectively. The prevalence of cryptococcosis is high in Madagascar and this serious condition is life-threatening in HIV-infected patients. These findings will be used to raise the awareness of national authorities to strengthen the national HIV/AIDS control program.
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Rivonirina Andry Rakotoarivelo, Mihaja Raberahona, Tahinamandranto Rasamoelina, Andriamihaja Rabezanahary, Fetra Angelot Rakotomalala, et al.. Epidemiological characteristics of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis associated with Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii from HIV-infected patients in Madagascar: A cross-sectional study. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2020, 14 (1), pp.e0007984. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0007984⟩. ⟨inserm-02533743⟩

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