A systematic review of epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis, antifungal resistance, and management of invasive aspergillosis in Africa

J Mycol Med. 2023 Mar;33(1):101328. doi: 10.1016/j.mycmed.2022.101328. Epub 2022 Aug 24.


Invasive aspergillosis (IA) affects more than 300,000 people annually worldwide with a case fatality rate reaching 80%. However, in Africa despite the presence of risk factors for the development of IA, the burden of these fungal infections remained unknown. This systematic review aimed to update the available information on the epidemiology and the therapeutic management of IA in Africa. The published papers were systematically searched on major medical databases from September 20 to October 10, 2021. The list of references of eligible articles and the Google scholar database were also checked in order to search for possible eligible articles. Results were reported following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The search yielded 1864 articles of which 29 met the inclusion criteria. This systematic review showed the existence of IA in Africa. The prevalence of IA can reach 27% with a fatality rate of more than 60%. The most common clinical form of IA found was invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The main predisposing conditions identified were neutropenia, HIV/AIDS, renal transplant recipients, and renal failure. Aspergillus section Flavi and Nigri were the main Aspergillus species identified and Aspergillus section Fumigati was uncommon. The main management strategy for IA cases was to start antifungal therapy only after a failure of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy. This review provided evidence of the existence of invasive aspergillosis in Africa and especially a high rate of undiagnosed invasive aspergillosis cases.

Keywords: Africa; Aspergillus; Invasive aspergillosis.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis* / diagnosis
  • Aspergillosis* / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis* / epidemiology
  • Aspergillus
  • Humans
  • Invasive Fungal Infections* / diagnosis
  • Invasive Fungal Infections* / drug therapy
  • Invasive Fungal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / diagnosis
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / drug therapy
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Antifungal Agents