Ecuador: 3 percent of population suffers from fungal disease

Posted on March 13, 2017 • Filed under: Ecuador, Latin America Health

Jonathan Veletanga. Quito reported the Global Action Fund for Fungi Infections (GAFFI) has carried out an estimation program to demonstrate country by country the number of people affected by serious fungal diseases worldwide . In this context, 14 of the most affected countries around the world, including Ecuador, have just published their results.

Jeannete Zurita , a microbiologist and member of GAFFI, has led a study in Ecuador that aimed to estimate the burden of mycotic diseases through the use of data on local incidence or prevalence, or to calculate their incidence through Application of calculations based on cohort studies, clinical trials and infection rates already documented in similar groups of patients elsewhere.

“With this study (estimates) we have shown that 3 percent (433,856) of the Ecuadorian population may have or may be affected by a severe fungal infection ,” Zurita pointed out in MEDICAL EDITORIAL.

In this sense it has revealed that in this study it was found that: about 11.1 percent of patients with HIV have histoplasma ; 7 percent have cryptococcal meningitis; 11 percent have Pneumocystis pneumonia; The burden of candidemia is 1037; The recurrence of candida vaginitis is approximately 4 episodes per year and that the women affected in Ecuador are 307,593 women aged 15-50 years; Aspergillosis probably affects 5.5 of every 100,000 patients ; And bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), which is a very serious problem, affects about 26,642 patients.


“This is the first attempt to summarize epidemiological data on the prevalence of severe fungal infections in Ecuador,” said the researchers in the study, who explained that there are currently no data on the incidence and prevalence of these diseases due to To which they are not of obligatory notification.

Fungi, the orphan of Microbiology

Zurita has said that although mycotic diseases have grown in Ecuador and globally, there is still “no appropriate interest” to improve the management, identification and treatment of fungi.

” Fungi are the forgotten or orphaned Microbiology because there are several limitations, for example there are no Mycology laboratories suitable for identifying fungi. There are also not enough specialists (mycologists) to diagnose fungi, nor enough medicines to treat them, “said the microbiologist, who has clarified that these factors are a problem for both Ecuador and the rest of the world.

LIFE (Leading International Fungal Infection), an organization dedicated to improving health in those with fungal disease through education, estimates that ” more than 300 million people are acutely or chronically infected by fungi , which causes Death, long-term illness, blindness, psychological problems and reduction of work capacity. ”

It also notes that “many recent improvements in diagnosis and treatment do not reach all patients and physicians in all countries , so access to appropriate diagnostics and simple antifungal agents is far from universal.”

How to improve the panorama in Ecuador?

Zurita has stated that in order to improve the reality of fungal diseases, the country needs to work on surveillance and diagnosis of opportunistic and invasive endemic infections . You should also consider a national mandatory record to know the burden of mycotic infections.

It has also suggested educating the population and health professionals on this issue; Improve mycology programs in universities , medical technology schools and care laboratories; To make diseases, especially endemic ones such as histoplasma, cryptococcus, paracoccidioides, candidemias, happen to be of obligatory notification ; Improve access to medicines, reagents and laboratory supplies; And especially establish interdisciplinary research groups to know more about the epidemiology and incidence of these diseases in the country. Read Article

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