Cryptococcus neoformans

Cryptococcus neoformans

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Cryptococcus neoformans

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Cryptococcosis, Torulosis, European blastomycosis

CHARACTERISTICS: Yeast; often budding, surrounded by a wide mucopolysaccharide capsule

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Mycosis presenting as a subacute or chronic meningitis; infection of lung, kidney, prostate, bone or liver may occur; skin lesions, ulcers or subcutaneous tumour-like masses; untreated meningitis terminates fatally within several months

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Sporadic cases occur worldwide; males infected twice as frequently as females, mainly adults; important mycosis in immunocompromised patients leg. (Patients with AIDS or severe combined immunodeficiency)

HOST RANGE: Humans; cats, dogs, horses, cows, monkeys and other animals

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Low level of pathogenicity for normal immunocompetent adults

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Presumably by inhalation

INCUBATION PERIOD: Unknown; pulmonary disease may precede brain infection by months or years

COMMUNICABILITY: Not transmitted directly from person to person

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Saprophytic growth in external environment; isolated consistently from old pigeon nests, pigeon droppings and from soil in many parts of world

ZOONOSIS: Not transmitted from animals to humans

VECTORS: None

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Sensitive to amphotericin B, 5-fluorocytosine, fluconazole, ketoconazole

DRUG RESISTANCE: Resistant strains to all of the above drugs have been isolated

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, iodine, phenolics, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde; susceptibility to 70% ethanol questionable

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Inactivated by moist heat (121°C for at least 15 min)

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Survives for months to years, especially in pigeon droppings

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms; confirm by microscopic examination of specimens (usually CSF, may also be present in urine or pus); confirm by culture or histopathology

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Combination therapy with amphotericin B and 5-fluorocytosine or ketoconazole

IMMUNIZATION: None

PROPHYLAXIS: None

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: Respiratory infections from laboratory exposure not recorded; 1 recorded case as a result of laceration by a scalpel blade contaminated with encapsulated yeast cells

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Clinical specimens and tissues (blood, CSF); soil, pigeon droppings and other environmental sources

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Accidental parenteral inoculation of cultures or other infectious materials; bites by experimentally infectious mice; manipulations of infectious environmental materials (pigeon droppings) also represent a potential hazard

SPECIAL HAZARDS: Immunocompromised individuals are particularly at risk

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 practices, containment equipment and facilities are recommended for activities with known or potentially infectious materials; processing of soil or other environmental materials likely to contain infectious yeast cells should be conducted in a biological safety cabinet

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves when direct contact with infectious materials is unavoidable

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: Good sanitation, cleaning and disinfection important

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply sodium hypochlorite, starting at perimeter and working towards the centre; allow sufficient contact time (30 min) before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate before disposal; steam sterilization, incineration, chemical disinfection

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: February 2000

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright © Health Canada, 2001

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