Fungal Disease Frequency

Each year, more than 80 million people are at a high risk of either succumbing to a fungal disease or experiencing vision loss. Approximately 6.55 million patients develop life-threatening fungal infections annually, of which 3.75 million unfortunately do not survive. It’s important to note that these estimates are based on the demographics of underlying conditions (such as HIV infection, leukemia and lymphoma, lung cancer, intensive care, pulmonary tuberculosis, COPD and severe asthma) because there is currently no global access to the diagnosis of fungal diseases worldwide, and surveillance programs are limited. As a result, these numbers are approximations.

However, when prospective studies have been conducted, especially in people living with HIV, they consistently reveal a higher burden of fungal infections than previously estimated. This underscores the critical need for improved access to diagnosis and treatment to reduce the suffering and mortality caused by fungal diseases on a global scale.

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; ICU, intensive care Unit; TB, tuberculosis; Transplant, Solid organ transplantation)

Annual incidence of commoner life-threatening fungal infections:

Fungal disease

Number affected (annual incidence)

Case fatality rate

Estimated deaths (crude mortality)


Cryptococcal meningitis 194,000 in AIDS and non-AIDS 15-20% USA
>50% developing world
147,000 79% in AIDS
Pneumocystis pneumonia 400,000 in AIDS
105,000 in non-AIDS
~15% in AIDS with best treatment
~40% in non-AIDS
140,000 in AIDS
74,000 non-AIDS
Global pathogen, often treated empirically
Disseminated histoplasmosis in AIDS 71,000 30%, if diagnosed and treated 66,000 Globally present, but data from Africa and SE Asia scanty
Invasive aspergillosis 2,100,000:

27,000 in leukaemia/lymphoma

1,513 in COPD admissions to hospital

519,000 in intensive care

57,000 in lung cancer

~30% mortality in leukaemia in HIC

~45-70% in COPD

~30% mortality if treated in HIC



Many missed diagnoses globally
Candidaemia and invasive candidiasis 1,565,000 35% mortality treated 995,000 Uncertainty about incidence and deaths from patients without a positive blood culture
Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis 1,837,000 8% mortality in HIC 340,000 in non hospitalised populations Under-diagnosed and mistaken for tuberculosis. Annual prevalence much higher
Coccidioidomycosis 30,000 (no mortality rate so -) 2,000 (deaths) Most cases occur in USA andMexico
Fungal asthma 11,500,000* <1% but no good figures. At least 46,000 deaths Much uncertainty about prevalence and contribution to death
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