Serious fungal infections in Pakistan

K. Jabeen, J. Farooqi, S. Mirza, D. Denning, A. Zafar

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45 Citations (Scopus)


The true burden of fungal infection in Pakistan is unknown. High-risk populations for fungal infections [tuberculosis (TB), diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, asthma, cancer, transplant and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection] are numerous. Here, we estimate the burden of fungal infections to highlight their public health significance. Whole and at-risk population estimates were obtained from the WHO (TB), BREATHE study (COPD), UNAIDS (HIV), GLOBOCAN (cancer) and Heartfile (diabetes). Published data from Pakistan reporting fungal infections rates in general and specific populations were reviewed and used when applicable. Estimates were made for the whole population or specific populations at risk, as previously described in the LIFE methodology. Of the 184,500,000 people in Pakistan, an estimated 3,280,549 (1.78%) are affected by a serious fungal infection, omitting all cutaneous infection, oral candidiasis and allergic fungal sinusitis, which we could not estimate. Compared with other countries, the rates of candidaemia (21/100,000) and mucormycosis (14/100,000) are estimated to be very high, and are based on data from India. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis rates are estimated to be high (39/100,000) because of the high TB burden. Invasive aspergillosis was estimated to be around 5.9/100,000. Fungal keratitis is also problematic in Pakistan, with an estimated rate of 44/100,000. Pakistan probably has a high rate of certain life- or sight-threatening fungal infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-956
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


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