Global incidence and mortality of severe fungal disease

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Current estimates of fungal disease incidence and mortality are imprecise. Population at risk denominators were used to estimate annual incidence for 2019–21. Extensive literature searches from 2010 to 2023 were combined with over 85 papers on individual country and global disease burden. Crude and attributable mortality were estimated using a combination of untreated mortality, the proportion of patients who are treated, and percentage survival in treated patients. Awareness, guidelines, and accessibility of diagnostics and therapies informed the ratio of treated to untreated cases. Estimates do not include influenza or COVID-19 outbreaks. Data from more than 120 countries were included. Annually, over 2113000 people develop invasive aspergillosis in the context of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, intensive care, lung cancer, or haematological malignancy, with a crude annual mortality of 1 801 000 (85·2%). The annual incidence of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis is 1 837 272, with 340 000 (18·5%) deaths. About 1565000 people have a Candida bloodstream infection or invasive candidiasis each year, with 995 000 deaths (63·6%). Pneumocystis pneumonia affects 505 000 people, with 214 000 deaths (42·4%). Cryptococcal meningitis affects 194 000 people, with 147 000 deaths (75·8%). Other major life-threatening fungal infections affect about 300 000 people, causing 161 000 deaths (53·7%). Fungal asthma affects approximately 11·5 million people and might contribute to 46000 asthma deaths annually. These updated estimates suggest an annual incidence of 6·5 million invasive fungal infections and 3·8 million deaths, of which about 2·5 million (68%; range 35–90) were directly attributable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2024


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