Three different fungi are the primary agents in fungal meningitis. This is a rare disease but when it does occur it can be life threatening. The three fungi are Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Histoplasma.
Candida albicans lives in the mouths, intestinal tract and vaginas of healthy people, usually with no ill effects. It can cause thrush but in rare cases it can cause meningitis in premature babies with very low birth weight or in people with compromised immune systems due to AIDS, cancer chemotherapy, or bone marrow and organ transplants, diabetes or other. It is a dangerous form of meningitis.
Cryptococcus neoformans is a common soil fungus. It is the most common cause of fungal meningitis, which generally occurs only in people with weakened immune systems. It is life threatening.
Histoplasma is also a soil fungus, which can cause meningitis and other illnesses in people with weak immune systems. Symptoms are generally the same as meningitis from other causes and in all cases, treatment is with anti fungal drugs.