Burden of Serious Fungal Infections in Guatemala

N. Medina, B. Samayoa, D. Lau-Bonilla, David Denning, R. Herrera, D Mercado, B. Guzman, J. C. Perez, E. Arathoon

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Guatemala is a developing country in Central America with a high burden of HIV and endemic fungal infections; we attempted to estimate the burden of serious fungal infections for the country.

A full literature search was done to identify epidemiology papers reporting fungal infections from Guatemala. We used specific populations at risk and fungal infection frequencies in the population to estimate national rates.

The population of Guatemala in 2013 was 15.4 million; 40% were younger than 15 and 6.2% older than 60. There are an estimated 53,000 adults with HIV infection, in 2015, most presenting late. The estimated cases of opportunistic fungal infections were: 705 cases of disseminated histoplasmosis, 408 cases of cryptococcal meningitis, 816 cases of Pneumocystis pneumonia, 16,695 cases of oral candidiasis and 4,505 cases of esophageal candidiasis. In the general population, an estimated of 5,568 adult asthmatics have allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) based on a 2.42% prevalence of asthma and a 2.5% ABPA proportion. Amongst 2,452 pulmonary tuberculosis patients, we estimated a prevalence of 495 for chronic pulmonary aspergillosis in this group, and 1484 for all conditions. An estimated 232,357 cases of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is likely. Overall, 1.7% of the population are affected by these conditions.

The true fungal infection burden in Guatemala is unknown. Tools and training for improved diagnosis are needed. Additional research on prevalence is needed to employ public health measures towards treatment and improving the reported data of fungal diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-969
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Early online date27 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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