Fungal infections causing high morbidity and mortality and higher hospital costs

Fungal infections causing high morbidity and mortality and higher hospital costs

Patients affected by fungal infections usually present a wide range of clinical manifestations, representing a challenge from a diagnostic and therapeutic point of view. In recent years, we have noticed an increase in the number of individuals at risk for developing this type of disease (increase in the number of patients admitted to intensive care, patients with neoplasms and transplants)1. Even so, the public and private health systems neglect this diagnosis, making this patient often require hospitalization due to the already advanced clinical involvement.1.2.

An example of this is the fact that Brazil, a continental country with a population that exceeds 200 million, the 9th in fungal infections in the world, does not have non-endemic diseases of this type on its list of notifiable diseases. According to the Brasil Amanhã report, published by Fiocruz in 2019, it is estimated that 3.8 million Brazilians are affected by some serious fungal disease and the lack of reliable epidemiological data makes it difficult to conduct health policies better.two.

An Italian multicenter study showed that in ICU patients with invasive candidiasis, the 30-day gross mortality can reach 62.4%3. Pediatric data reveal that invasive candidiasis in children can have a mortality of up to 51%6. Another analysis showed that invasive aspergillosis, the most common infection caused by a filamentous fungus, has a mortality rate greater than 80%.4 and is one of the most undiagnosed diseases identified in autopsies5. Thus, fungal infections can be fatal and early diagnosis and treatment can change the clinical outcome.7.

In addition to being clearly impacting on health by preventing the performance of professional functions, social integration and being associated with high mortality rates.two, fungal infections also pose a serious economic impact to public and private healthcare systems. infections by Candida spp. and aspergillus spp. represent 57% of hospitalization costs for fungal infections and the highest total costs among all diseases8. Thus, once again, the importance of clinical suspicion, early diagnosis and, consequently, adequate treatment is perceived.7.

Current diagnostic methods (serology, culture and histopathology) for most fungal infections do not have good sensitivity and specificity, in addition to often requiring invasive procedures, which, in the case of intensive care patients, can be difficult.1.3. So, other extremely important measures to improve the clinical outcome when it comes to this type of infection would be specific public policies that incorporate strategies for early diagnosis, as well as training the medical team in the prevention and treatment of fungal infections.1.2.

With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)9 created the Awareness Week on Fungal Diseases which, this year, takes place between the 19th and 23rd of September and aims to raise awareness among health professionals about the importance and attention to this topic.

Visit our website for more information about these diseases. Fungal infections. Difficult to diagnose, easy to underestimate.


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