Affiliation: Universidade Federal do Para, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Laboratorio de Virologia, Rua Augusto Correa no. 1, 66.075-910, Belem, Para, Brazil.
Cryptococcus neoformans is an important cause of morbidity in HIV-infected patients worldwide. In the northern region of Brazil, the prevalence of this infection is poorly known due to a lack of systematic investigations. This study aimed to determine the occurrence of cryptococcosis by detecting antigenaemia in HIV-infected patients in the State of Pará, Brazil. A latex Cryptococcus antigen detection kit was used to test 418 serum samples from HIV-infected patients seen at two Infectious Disease Specialized Units in the State of Pará. The C. neoformans antigenaemia prevalence was 2.6%, and titres reached 1:8. The cases occurred mainly in asymptomatic females, and 45% presented CD4+ T lymphocyte counts of fewer than 200 cells/mm3. These results show the importance of early C. neoformans antigenaemia detection to prevent fungal disease.