Current situation of fungal diseases in Eritrea

Mycoses. 2022 May 27. doi: 10.1111/myc.13474. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

The epidemiology of fungal infections in Eritrea is unknown. Most cases are under-reported due to a lack of diagnostics. This study estimates the burden of serious fungal infections and highlights treatment and diagnostic gaps in the country. All publications related to fungal infections were identified by searches using PubMed/Medline and Google Scholar. Where no data were available, data from neighbouring countries, then sub-Saharan African countries, then other parts of the world were considered for deriving estimates. The Eritrea population was 3,546,427 in 2020. In 2020, HIV/AIDS patients numbered 1400 and TB incidence were 2875. The five-year adult prevalence of asthma (2016-2020) was 41,390, and the total prevalence estimate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was 308,328. The annual incidence of cryptococcal meningitis and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in AIDS patients was estimated at 96 and 205 cases. Oesophageal candidiasis incidence is 715 HIV-infected patients. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis prevalence, including post-tuberculosis cases, was estimated at 1399 (39/100,000). Fungal asthma has a prevalence of 1035 and 1366 in adults. The estimated prevalence of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis and tinea capitis is 59,391 and 342,585, respectively. There are no data on candidaemia, but it is estimated at 5/100,000 (177 cases annually). Invasive aspergillosis in leukaemia, lung cancer, COPD and HIV is estimated at 540 cases and fungal keratitis in 514 cases annually. Serious fungal infections are prevalent in Eritrea with approximately 408,164 people (11.5%) affected annually. Studies on fungal diseases to improve diagnosis and treatment are required with the implementation of a national surveillance program.

Keywords: aspergillus; candida; fungal infection; pneumocystis; tinea capitis.