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This was fact checked by our expert Medical Review Board for accuracy and objectivity. about our editorial policy and review process. To detect a fungal infectionto determine which specific fungus or fungi are present, and to help guide treatment. When a healthcare practitioner suspects that you have a skin, lung, or systemic fungal infection; sometimes after treatment to monitor its effectiveness. The sample collected depends upon the suspected location s of the infection. However, you are currently at Lab Tests Online.


Davis, MD, PhD. Fungal meningitis is rare and usually the result of spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord. Although anyone can get fungal meningitis, people with weakened immune systems, like those with HIV infection or cancerare at higher risk. The most common cause of fungal meningitis for people with weakened immune systems is Cryptococcus.

This disease is one of the most common causes of adult meningitis in Africa. Fungal meningitis is not contagiouswhich means it is not transmitted from person to person. Fungal meningitis can develop after a fungus spre through the bloodstream from somewhere else in the body, as a result of the fungus being introduced directly into the central nervous system, or from an infected body site infection next to the central nervous system.

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You may also get fungal meningitis after taking medications that weaken your immune system. Examples of these medications include steroids such as prednisonemedications given after organ transplantation, or anti-TNF medications, which are sometimes given for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune conditions. Different types of fungus are transmitted in several ways. Cryptococcus is thought to be acquired through inhaling soil contaminated with bird droppings, and Histoplasma is found in environments with heavy contamination of bird or bat droppings, particularly in the Midwest near the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Blastomyces is thought to exist in soil rich in decaying organic matter in the Midwest United States, particularly the northern Midwest. When these environments are disturbed, the fungal spores can be inhaled. Meningitis from the fungal infection spreading to the spinal cord. Candida is usually acquired in a hospital setting. The classic s and symptoms of meningitis are headache, fever, and stiff neck in adults and older children.

Symptoms of meningitis may appear suddenly and can also include nausea and vomiting. Changes in behavior, such as confusion, sleepiness, and difficulty waking up, are other important symptoms. In infants, symptoms of meningitis are often much less specific and may include irritability or tiredness, poor feeding, and fever.

Risk Factors. Certain diseases, medications, and surgical procedures may weaken the immune system and increase your risk of getting fungal infection, which can lead to fungal meningitis. Premature babies with very low birth weights are also at increased risk for getting Candida blood stream infection, which may spread to the brain.

Living in certain areas of the United States may increase your risk for fungal lung infections, which can also spread to the brain. For example, bird and bat droppings in the Midwestern United States may contain Histoplasmaand soil in the Southwestern United States may contain Coccidioides. African Americans, Filipinos, pregnant women in the third trimesterand people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get Coccidiodes infection, which is also called valley fever. s and Symptoms. If meningitis is suspected, samples of blood or cerebrospinal fluid near the spinal cord are collected and sent to a laboratory for testing.

Knowing the specific cause of meningitis is important because the severity of illness and the treatment will differ depending on the cause.

To confirm fungal meningitis, specific lab tests can be performed, depending on the type of fungus suspected. Fungal meningitis is treated with long courses of high dose antifungal medications, usually given through an IV line in the hospital. The length of treatment depends on the status of the immune system and the type of fungus that caused the infection. For people with immune systems that do not function well because of other conditions, like AIDSdiabetesor cancertreatment is often longer.

No specific activities are known to cause fungal meningitis.

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Avoid soil and other environments that are likely to contain fungus. People with weakened immune systems for example, those with HIV infection should try to avoid bird droppings and avoid digging and dusty activities, particularly if they live in a geographic region where fungi like HistoplasmaCoccidioidesor Blastomyces species exist. HIV-infected people cannot completely avoid exposure. Headaches can be divided into two : primary headaches and secondary headaches.

Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches.

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Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches. Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting.

Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting.

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Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. How is fungal meningitis transmitted? What are risk factors for fungal meningitis? What are fungal meningitis symptoms and s? How is fungal meningitis diagnosed? What is the treatment for fungal meningitis? Can fungal meningitis be prevented?

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Meningitis Symptoms and s The classic s and symptoms of meningitis are headache, fever, and stiff neck in adults and older children. about meningitis symptoms and s ». Latest Infectious Disease News.

Life with Cancer. Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms. Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning s of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age.

Treatment for Alzheimer's is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease. Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar glucose in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 insulin dependent and type 2 non-insulin dependent.

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Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type. Bell's palsy is one type of facial nerve paralysis. The seventh cranial nerve controls the muscles of the face, and although scientists do not know the exact cause of Bell's palsy, they think it may be due to nerve damage from an infection, for example, the flu, common cold viruses, and more serious infections like meningitis.

The symptoms of Bell's palsy vary from person to person, but can include mild weakness to total paralysis, dry eye, dry mouth, eyelid drooping, drooling, mouth drooping, dry mouth, changes in taste, and excessive tearing in one eye. Histoplasmosis cave disease is a disease caused by a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. The symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia and include chest pain, fever, and sweats. Antifungal medications are used in treatment. In a lumbar puncture LP procedure, or spinal tap, a hollow needle is inserted near the spinal cord to collect a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid CSFwhich can then help diagnose infections meningitishemorrhage, multiple sclerosis, and tumors.

Still incurable, AIDS describes immune system collapse that opens the way for opportunistic infections and cancers to kill the patient. Early symptoms and s of HIV infection include flu-like symptoms and fungal infections, but some people may not show any symptoms for years. These combination drug regimens have made HIV much less deadly, but a cure or vaccine for the pandemic remains out of reach.

HIV is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but can also infect someone through contact with infected blood. What is meningitis and what causes it? Take our Meningitis Quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of this potentially life-threatening disease. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.

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