Global Fungal Diseases
Fungal diseases are a global public health problem. Although fungal diseases can affect anyone, including travelers, they pose a serious threat to people who have weakened immune systems, such as those who have cancer or HIV/AIDS.
Many people at risk for and suffering from fungal diseases live in resource-limited settings, where diagnosis and treatment of these infections can be challenging. These areas of the world often lack the laboratory infrastructure needed to diagnose fungal diseases, and limited availability of antifungal medications means that some patients who have fungal diseases aren’t able to receive the life-saving treatments they need. CDC is working with partners to improve access to fungal diagnostics and antifungal medications around the globe.
Who we are
CDC's Mycotic Disease Branch (MDB) is dedicated to preventing death and disability due to fungal diseases. As one of the only public health groups in the world devoted specifically to the prevention and control of fungal infections, MDB works with domestic and international partners to determine the burden of fungal infections, respond to outbreaks, and address other public health problems related to fungal infections. Click here to learn more about CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch.
Where we work
Our branch has assisted in the onsite development, execution, analysis, and publication of numerous studies as well as the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of several public health programs all over the globe. We work with many international partners in a wide variety of areas, particularly with the assessment and prevention of opportunistic fungal infections among people with HIV/AIDS.
Below is a map of some of the places we’ve worked during the last 5 years, shown in green:
Cryptococcal meningitis is a deadly brain infection caused by the soil-dwelling fungus Cryptococcus. Worldwide, nearly 1 million new cases of cryptococcal meningitis occur each year, resulting in 625,000 deaths, most of which occur in sub-Saharan Africa. In some countries with a high HIV prevalence, cryptococcal meningitis causes more deaths than tuberculosis. A simple blood test can detect early cryptococcal disease in HIV-infected persons before they develop meningitis, creating opportunities to prevent this deadly disease.
CDC is assisting several countries in working to prevent deaths from cryptococcal disease by: 1) implementing cryptococcal screening programs, 2) building laboratory capacity to diagnose early cryptococcal infections, and 3) improving access to antifungal medications.