Fungal Disease Frequency

Globally, over 300 million people are afflicted with a serious fungal infection and 25 milllion are at high risk of dying or losing their sight. Estimates for the global burden of fungal diseases are based on population and disease demographics (age, gender, HIV infected, asthma etc)1. Some fungal diseases are acute and severe (i.e. cryptococcal meningitis and fungal eye infection (keratitis), other recurrent (i.e. Candida vaginitis or oral candidiasis in AIDS) and other chronic (i.e. chronic pulmonary aspergillosis or fungal hair infection (tinea capitis). The most common life-threatening fungal infections and estimated overall mortality are shown below.

(ABPA, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; CPA, chronic pulmonary aspergillosis; Crypto, cryptococcosis; Histo, histoplasmosis; IA, invasive aspergillosis; IC, invasive candidiasis; PCP, Pneumocystis pneumonia; SAFS, severe asthma with fungal sensitization; TB, tuberculosis)

Burden of common life-threatening fungal infections:

Fungal infection Number affected Case fatality rate Estimated deaths Comments
Cryptococcal meningitis 223,000 in AIDS 15-20% USA
>50% developing world
180,000 in AIDS CDC estimate
Pneumocystis pneumonia >400,000 in AIDS
>100,000 in non-AIDS
~15% in AIDS with best treatment
~50% in non-AIDS
>200,000 in AIDS
>50,000 non-AIDS
Most cases in Africa not diagnosed and 100% mortality
Disseminated histoplasmosis ~100,000 15-30%, if diagnosed and treated >80,000 Most common in the Americas
Invasive aspergillosis >1,000,000 ~30% mortality in leukaemia in HIC

~45-70% in COPD

~30% mortality if treated in HIC -in AIDS
~50% non-AIDS, in HIC



>30,000 in AIDS

>125,000 in non-AIDS

Many missed diagnoses globally
Invasive candidiasis >750,000 ~40% mortality treated >350,000
Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis >3,000,000 ~15-40% mortality in HIC
~15% mortality in the developed world
>450,000 in non hospitalised populations Under-diagnosed and mistaken for tuberculosis
Severe asthma with fungal sensitisation (SAFS) >6,500,000 <1% but no good figures. 350,000 – 489,000 asthma deaths
~50% related to SAFS
Fungal keratitis 1-0-1.4 million Blinding >60% >600,000 blind eyes Diagnosis often late
Total ~13,500,000 >1,600,000 Probably a significant underestimate

View all published Country Burdens of Disease and abstracts not yet published here.
More detail on fungal infection frequency globally can be found here.

View our burden of disease graphic maps