Cryptococcal meningitis was diagnosed in a 71-year-old male diabetic patient with underlying ischaemic heart disease, asthma and bilateral axillo-femoral vascular grafts. After treatment with fluconazole for 2 months, the patient appeared to be cured. Two years later he presented with an aneurysm of the right graft that was resected and replaced with a new graft segment. var. was grown from post-operative blood cultures and samples of the excised graft. The patient was treated with fluconazole and discharged after 6 weeks. Multiple isolates from both episodes had been preserved, and these, together with isolates from other UK patients, were cultured in duplicate, blind coded and characterised by pyrolysis mass spectrometry (PMS). Duplicate culture and re-isolate sets formed tight clusters, with each patient set clearly distinct. Sets of isolates from the two episodes in this patient formed a single tight cluster and were indistinguishable by PMS. These results support the contention that infection can be reactivated after being dormant for a prolonged period.


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