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Mapping the Burden of Fungal Diseases in the United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates has very little data on the incidence or prevalence of fungal diseases. Using total and underlying disease risk populations and likely affected proportions, we have modelled the burden of fungal disease for the first time. The most prevalent serious fungal conditions are recurrent vulvovaginitis (~190,000 affected) and fungal asthma (~34,000 affected). Given the UAE's low prevalence of HIV, we estimate an at-risk population of 204 with respect to serious fungal infections with cryptococcal meningitis estimated at 2 cases annually, 15 cases of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) annually, and 20 cases of esophageal candidiasis in the HIV population. PCP incidence in non-HIV patients is estimated at 150 cases annually. Likewise, with the same low prevalence of tuberculosis in the country, we estimate a total chronic pulmonary aspergillosis prevalence of 1002 cases. The estimated annual incidence of invasive aspergillosis is 505 patients, based on local data on rates of malignancy, solid organ transplantation, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (5.9 per 100,000). Based on the 2022 annual report of the UAE's national surveillance database, candidaemia annual incidence is 1090 (11.8/100,000), of which 49.2% occurs in intensive care. Fungal diseases affect ~228,695 (2.46%) of the population in the UAE.

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