The burden of serious fungal infections in Azerbaijan

Ravil M Huseynov, Samir S Javadov, Ali Osmanov, Shahin Khasiyev, Samira R Valiyeva, Esmira Almammadova, David W Denning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Azerbaijan is an upper middle-income country in South Caucasus with an area of 86,600 km2 and a total population of 10 million people and gross domestic product of US $4480 per capita. The aim of this research is to estimate fungal infection burden and highlight the problem at national and international levels.

METHODS: Fungal infection burden was estimated using data from epidemiological papers and population at risk and LIFE (Leading International Fungal Education) modelling.

RESULTS: The number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) in 2018 was 6193, 29% of them not receiving antiretroviral therapy. Based on 90% and 20% rates of oral and oesophageal candidiasis in patients with CD4 cell count <200 µl-1 we estimate 808 and 579 patients with oral and oesophageal candidiasis, respectively. The annual incidences of cryptococcal meningitis and Pneumocystis pneumonia are 5 and 55 cases, respectively. We estimated 2307 cases of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA), 4927 patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), and 6504 with severe asthma with fungal sensitization (SAFS). Using data on chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), lung cancer, acute myeloid leukaemia rates, and number of transplantations, we estimated 693 cases of invasive aspergillosis following these conditions. Using a low-European rate for invasive candidiasis, we estimated 499 and 75 patients with candidemia and intra-abdominal candidiasis respectively. The number of adult women (15-55 years) in Azerbaijan is ~2,658,000, so it was estimated that 159,490 women suffer from recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (rVVC).

DISCUSSION: In total, the estimated number of people suffering from fungal diseases in Azerbaijan is 225,974 (2.3% of the population). However, the fungal rate is underestimated due to lack of epidemiological data. The most imminent need is improvement in diagnostic capabilities. This aim should be achieved via establishing a reference laboratory and equipping major clinical centers with essential diagnostics assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20499361211043969
JournalTherapeutic advances in infectious disease
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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