University of Oulu

Anne Toivonen, Mari Eriksson, Nathalie Friberg, Timo Hautala, Sohvi Kääriäinen, Jaana Leppäaho-Lakka, Janne Mikkola, Tuomas Nieminen, Jarmo Oksi, Juha H. Salonen, Pekka Suomalainen, Markku Vänttinen, Hanna Jarva & Annemarjut J. Jääskeläinen (2021) Clinical characteristics and evaluation of the incidence of cryptococcosis in Finland 2004–2018, Infectious Diseases, 53:9, 684-690,

Clinical characteristics and evaluation of the incidence of cryptococcosis in Finland 2004–2018

Saved in:
Author: Toivonen, Anne1; Eriksson, Mari2; Friberg, Nathalie1;
Organizations: 1HUS Diagnostic Center, HUSLAB, Clinical Microbiology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
2Inflammation Center, Department of Infectious Disease, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
3Research Unit of Biomedicine, University of Oulu and Department of Internal Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Infection ControlUnit, Seinäjoki Central Hospital, Seinäjoki, Finland and National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
5Central Hospital NOVA of Central Finland, Jyväskylä, Finland
6Department of Infection Control and Infectious Diseases, Kanta-Häme Central Hospital, Hämeenlinna, Finland
7Infectious Diseases Unit, Pori, Finland
8Department of Infectious Diseases, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku, Turku, Finland
9Department of Infectious Diseases, Vaasa Central Hospital, Vaasa, Finland
10Department of Infectious Diseases, South Karelia Central Hospital, Lappeenranta, Finland
11Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
12HUS Diagnostic Center, HUSLAB, Clinical Microbiology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland and Department of Bacteriology and Immunology and Translational Immunology Research Program, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-14


Background: Cryptococcosis is one of the major causes of mortality among HIV patients worldwide. Though most often associated with late stage HIV infection/AIDS, a significant number of cases occur in other immunocompromised patients such as solid organ transplant recipients and patients with hematological malignancies. Immunocompromised patients are a heterogeneous group and their number increases constantly. Since little is known about the incidence and the clinical features of cryptococcosis in Northern Europe, our aim was to investigate the clinical characteristics of cryptococcosis patients in Finland.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the laboratory confirmed cryptococcosis cases in Finland during 2004–2018. Only those who were treated for cryptococcosis were included in the study. Initial laboratory findings and medical records were also collected.

Results: A total of 22 patients with cryptococcosis were included in our study. The annual incidence of cryptococcosis was 0.03 cases per 100,000 population. Ten patients were HIV-positive and 12 out of 22 were HIV-negative. Hematological malignancy was the most common underlying condition among HIV-negative patients.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study of the clinical presentation and incidence of cryptococcosis in Finland. We demonstrate that invasive cryptococcal infection occurs not only in HIV/AIDS patients or otherwise immunocompromised patients but also in immunocompetent individuals. Even though cryptococcosis is extremely rare in Finland, its recognition is important since the prognosis depends on rapid diagnostics and early antifungal therapy.

see all

Series: Infectious diseases
ISSN: 2374-4235
ISSN-E: 2374-4243
ISSN-L: 2374-4235
Volume: 53
Issue: 9
Pages: 684 - 690
DOI: 10.1080/23744235.2021.1922753
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.