Accuracy of fungal disease prevalence estimates from LIFE

The Leading International Fungal Education (LIFE) portal has produced 43 published papers on fungal infection burden estimates. These papers cover fungal infections country by country for over 5.7 billion people. Recently a review by Bongomin et al has collated these figures into a single paper, describing the distribution of an estimated 3,000,000 cases of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis, 223,100 cases of cryptococcal meningitis complicating HIV/aids, ~700,000 cases of invasive candidiasis, ~500,000 cases of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, ~250,000 cases of invasive aspergillosis, ~100,000 cases of disseminated histoplasmosis, over 10,000,000 cases of fungal asthma and ~1,000,000 cases of fungal keratitis annually. The paper also addresses limitations associated with these estimates, and highlights gaps in the literature.

The diagram below is a pictorial representation of the estimated burden of fungal infection on a global scale, as compiled by the authors of this paper.

The authors note that, although the estimates they describe are a useful way of comparing countries and characterising the burden of fungal infections globally, they do not satisfy the need for high quality epidemiological research and systematic surveillance. They also suggest that the gap between estimated burden and recorded cases should be closed for the purpose of improving patient outcomes.