Although often described as a rare fungal infection,
mucormycosis appears to be increasing in frequency. This has been attributed to
the growth of the number of severely immunocompromised patients, as well as to
the rising prevalence of diabetes mellitus. Differences in the epidemiology
seem to exist depending on geography. In Europe and USA, the disease remains
uncommon and is mostly seen in patients with hematological malignancies. In
contrast, in Asia, especially in India, mucormycosis is more common, and cases
occur mainly in patients with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or trauma. It
mainly affects immunocompromised patients, such as those with haematological
malignancies, recipients of haematopoietic stem cell or solid organ
transplants, patients with diabetes mellitus, and infants with prematurity.
Mucormycosis may also affect immunocompetent patients with trauma or burns, or
patients with elevated serum levels of iron under treatment with deferroxamine.
Due to the relative rarity of the disease it is difficult to perform stringent
epidemiological studies to estimate its exact incidence. Most of the available
data stem from case series and pertain to haematological patients or to
patients who have undergone transplantation.
Taking into consideration the challenges related to epidemiology, treatment and outcome of mucormycosis, a Working Group on Zygomycosis was formed by the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM). The aim of the group was to analyze the clinical characteristics, microbiology, treatment practices and outcome of mucormycosis in Europe through a voluntary case registry. The results of the first 3 years (2005–2007) were published in 2011. In 2008 the Working Group became global, under the auspices of both ECMM and ISHAM (Ιnternational Society for Human and Animal Mycology).
• If the data indicate that the positive culture represents colonization, the case
is not eligible.