Cryptococcal antigenemia and its predictors among HIV infected patients in resource limited settings: A systematic review


BACKGROUND: Cryptococcosis is an opportunistic fungal infection that primarily affects people with advanced HIV/AIDS and is an important cause of morbidity and mortality around the globe. By far the most common presentation of the disease is cryptococcal meningitis (CM), which leads to an estimated 1520% of all HIV related deaths worldwide, 75% of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. However, to the best of our knowledge there is quite limited reviewed data on the epidemiology of cryptococcal antigenemia in a large HIV-infected population in resource limited settings. METHODS: Articles published in English irrespective of the time of publication were systematically searched using comprehensive search strings from PubMed/Medline and SCOPUS. In addition, Google Scholar and Google databases were searched manually for grey literature. Two reviewers independently assessed study eligibility, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. The pooled prevalence of cryptococcal antigenemia was determined with 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: Among 2941 potential citations, we have included 22 studies with a total of 8338 HIV positive individuals. The studies were reported in ten different countries during the year (20072018). Most of the articles reported the mean CD4 count of the participants below 100 cells/mul. The pooled prevalence of cryptococcal antigenemia at different CD4 count and ART status was at 8% (95%CI: 610%) (ranged between 1.7 and 33%). Body mass index (BMI) < 18.5 kg/m(2), CD4 count < 100 cells, patients presenting with headache and male gender were reported by two or more articles as an important predictors of cryptococcal antigenemia. CONCLUSIONS: Implementing a targeted screening of HIV patients with low BMI, CD4 count < 100 cells, having headache and males; and treatment for asymptomatic cryptococcal disease should be considered. Additional data is needed to better define the epidemiology of cryptococcal antigenemia and its predictors in resource limited settings in order to optimize the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies.


Derbie A, Mekonnen D, Woldeamanuel Y, Abebe T




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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