Epidemiological aspects of travel-related systemic endemic mycoses: a GeoSentinel analysis, 1997-2017

J Travel Med. 2018 Aug 1;25(1):10.1093/jtm/tay055. doi: 10.1093/jtm/tay055.


Background: International travel has increased in the past few decades, placing more travellers at risk of acquiring systemic endemic mycoses. There are limited published data on systemic endemic mycoses among international travellers. We report epidemiological characteristics of non-migrant, international travellers who acquired systemic endemic mycoses during travel.

Methods: We analysed records of non-migrant international travellers with a confirmed diagnosis of histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, paracoccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis or talaromycosis reported from 1997 through 2017 to GeoSentinel, a global surveillance network now consisting of 70 travel or tropical medicine centres in 31 countries.

Results: Sixty-nine records met the inclusion criteria. Histoplasmosis was most frequently reported; the 51 travellers with histoplasmosis had the lowest median age (30 years; range: 8-85) and shortest median duration of travel (12 days; range: 5-154). Coccidioidomycosis was reported in 14 travellers; travellers with coccidioidomycosis were older (median 62 years; range: 22-78) and had the longest median number of days between return from travel and presentation to a GeoSentinel site (55 days; range: 17-273). Almost all travellers with coccidioidomycosis were exposed in the USA. Other systemic endemic mycoses were less frequently reported, including blastomycosis (three travellers) and talaromycosis (one traveller).

Conclusions: Although relatively rare, systemic endemic mycoses should be considered as potential travel-related infections in non-migrant international travellers. Epidemiological exposures should be used to guide diagnostic evaluations and treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Coccidioidomycosis / diagnosis
  • Coccidioidomycosis / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Histoplasmosis / diagnosis
  • Histoplasmosis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Paracoccidioidomycosis / diagnosis
  • Paracoccidioidomycosis / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Travel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Travel-Related Illness*
  • Young Adult