Objective: To estimate for the first time the burden of fungal infections in Romania. Methods: Data derived from the World Health Organization (WHO), National Institute of Statistics, Romanian public health agencies and non-profit health organizations, and published annual reports on local epidemiology were used in the present study. When no data were available, specific at-risk populations were used to calculate frequencies of serious fungal diseases, using previously published epidemiological parameters. All data refer to the year 2016. Results: The estimated number of serious fungal infections in Romanian population was 436,230 in 2016. Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis accounted for up to 80% of total cases (more than 350,000 women annually). Concerning HIV-related infections, among 14,349 infected persons, Pneumocystis
pneumonia occurred in about 10% of late presenters (30 cases in 2016), while cryptococcal meningitis was rarely diagnosed (less than 20 cases). Annually, the total number of oesophageal candidiasis and oral thrush cases in HIV-positive patients may have been as high as 1229 and 3066, respectively. In immunocompromised and cancer patient populations, the annual incidence of candidaemia was 295, and at least 458 invasive aspergillosis cases and 4 mucormycosis cases occurred yearly. With 4966 critical care beds and approximately 200,000 abdominal surgeries performed, the estimated annual incidence of candidaemia and Candida
peritonitis was 689 and 344, respectively. The annual incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis is still high in Romania (12,747 cases). Thus, the prevalence of post-TB chronic pulmonary aspergillosis is estimated to be 8.98/100,000 (1768 cases). The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma in adults is 6% and 6.5%, respectively. Therefore, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis prevalence is estimated at 29,387 and severe asthma with fungal sensitisation at 38,731 cases annually. Conclusions: Not being on the list of reportable diseases, the number of patients presenting with severe mycoses in Romania can only be roughly estimated. Based on local reports and prevalence estimation, we consider that at least 2.23% of Romanians suffer from a serious form of fungal disease.
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