Emerging and re-emerging fungal threats in Africa

Parasite Immunol. 2023 Feb;45(2):e12953. doi: 10.1111/pim.12953. Epub 2022 Oct 17.


The emergence of deadly fungal infections in Africa is primarily driven by a disproportionately high burden of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, lack of access to quality health care, and the unavailability of effective antifungal drugs. Immunocompromised people in Africa are therefore at high risk of infection from opportunistic fungal pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans and Pneumocystis jirovecii, which are associated with high morbidity, mortality, and related socioeconomic impacts. Other emerging fungal threats include Emergomyces spp., Histoplasma spp., Blastomyces spp., and healthcare-associated multi-drug resistant Candida auris. Socioeconomic development and the Covid-19 pandemic may influence shifts in epidemiology of invasive fungal diseases on the continent. This review discusses the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and current management strategies available for these emerging fungal diseases in Africa. We also discuss gaps in knowledge, policy, and research to inform future efforts at managing these fungal threats.

Keywords: dimorphic fungal pathogens; emerging fungi; fungal pathogens; opportunistic fungal infections.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Mycoses* / drug therapy
  • Mycoses* / epidemiology
  • Mycoses* / microbiology
  • Pandemics


  • Antifungal Agents