Serious fungal infections in Korea

Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Global Fungal Disease Burden


Information on the incidence and prevalence of fungal infections is of critical value in public health policy. However, nationwide epidemiological data on fungal infections are scarce, due to a lack of surveillance and funding. The objective of this study was to estimate the disease burden of fungal infections in the Republic of Korea. An actuarial approach using a deterministic model was used for the estimation. Data on the number of populations at risk and the frequencies of fungal infections in those populations were obtained from national statistics reports and epidemiology papers. Approximately 1 million people were estimated to be affected by fungal infections every year. The burdens of candidemia (4.12 per 100,000), cryptococcal meningitis (0.09 per 100,000), and Pneumocystis pneumonia (0.51 per 100,000) in South Korea were estimated to be comparable to those in other countries. The prevalence of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (22.4 per 100,000) was markedly high, probably due to the high burden of tuberculosis in Korea. The low burdens of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (56.9 per 100,000) and severe asthma with fungal sensitization (75.1 per 100,000) warrant further study. Oral candidiasis (539 per 100,000) was estimated to affect a much larger population than noted in previous studies. Our work provides valuable insight on the epidemiology of fungal infections; however, additional studies are needed.


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was provided for this research.

Conflict of interest

All authors report nothing to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Huh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y. E. Ha
    • 1
  • D. W. Denning
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • K. R. Peck
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseasesArmed Forces Capital HospitalSeongnamKorea
  3. 3.The National Aspergillosis CentreUniversity Hospital of South ManchesterManchesterUK
  4. 4.The University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  5. 5.Manchester Academic Health Science CentreManchesterUK

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