Excessive prevalence of fungal secondary infections amongst COVID-19 sufferers

The coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was brought on by the emergence of the extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

SARS-CoV-2 causes delicate to extreme an infection, with severely contaminated sufferers, usually admitted to intensive care items (ICUs). Sufferers experiencing extreme COVID-19 are at an elevated danger of secondary fungal and bacterial infections.

Study: Antifungal therapy in the management of fungal secondary infections in COVID-19 patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock.com

Examine: Antifungal therapy in the management of fungal secondary infections in COVID-19 patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Picture Credit score: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock.com


Some generally reported secondary fungal infections which might be related to an elevated price of mortality and morbidity embody COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA), mucormycosis (CAM), and invasive candidiasis. These infections are brought on by pathogens belonging to Rhizopus, Aspergillus, and Candida species, respectively.

Prior analysis has proven that secondary fungal infections in COVID-19 sufferers are excessive. Furthermore, 14.8% and 33% of delicate and extreme COVID-19 sufferers, respectively, develop fungal secondary infections.

Notably, COVID-19 sufferers who’re additionally receiving therapies for cancers, diabetes mellitus, or immunosuppressive brokers are at the next danger of fungal co-infections when hospitalized.

The time interval between COVID-19 prognosis and the event of secondary fungal infections varies considerably amongst sufferers. As fungal co-infections improve the chance of mortality in COVID-19 sufferers, early detection and remedy are vital to cut back opposed scientific outcomes.

Though there are not any definitive pointers obtainable to handle secondary fungal infections in sufferers contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, an abundance of proof based mostly on case collection and cohort research is on the market and may also help handle this situation. The commonest antifungal therapies (AFTs) used to deal with these infections embody echinocandins, liposomal amphotericin B, and azole.

In regards to the research

In a current PLoS One journal research, researchers systematically analyzed printed literature to discover the frequency of secondary fungal infections amongst COVID-19 sufferers. Herein, they describe secondary fungal infections as these brought on by fungal species on the time of hospital admission or in the course of the interval of hospital keep. The authors additional studied the effectiveness of AFTs in treating COVID-19 sufferers with fungal co-infection.

Within the present research, the researchers carried out a complete literature search utilizing a number of serps, together with Scopus, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Net of Sciences, ClinicalTrial.gov, medRxiv.org, Google scholar, and bioRxiv.org to acquire related research associated to AFTs for secondary fungal an infection administration in COVID-19 sufferers.

The researchers adopted the PRISMA 2009 assertion for reporting systematic evaluations and meta-analysis information. Moreover, they obtained related potential and retrospective research, case collection, scientific trials, and scientific reviews related to fungal coinfection in COVID-19 sufferers. The Mantel Haenszel random-effect mannequin was used to foretell the pooled danger ratio for the required consequence.

Examine findings

One research reported that 28.2% of COVID-19 sufferers have been recognized with secondary fungal infections throughout their hospital keep. This research estimated an total mortality price of 45.7% within the research cohort.

The mortality price related to CAPA and CAM was 75.2% and 13%, respectively. Comparatively, one other research reported that the mortality price related to CAPA is decrease than CAM.

Restricted research have been obtainable relating to the mortality price of COVID-19-associated candidemia (CAC).

An Atlanta-based research reported 30.9% mortality in COVID-19 sufferers with secondary fungal infections. A number of different research have equally indicated that as in comparison with these contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 alone, COVID-19 sufferers co-infected with fungal infections have the next mortality price.

Many European, Chinese language, and Australian research have reported that essentially the most generally recognized fungal an infection in COVID-19 sufferers is CAPA, adopted by CAC and CAM. Aspergillus fumigatus was recognized as essentially the most generally occurring causal organism.

CAPA sufferers obtain voriconazole as the primary line of AFT and amphotericin B because the second line of remedy. The overall period of AFTs was between two and 90 days. 

CAC largely prevailed among the many Chinese language inhabitants, with these sufferers predominantly handled with echinocandins, azoles, and amphotericin B. Candida albicans was discovered to be the causal organism of CAC, with the period of antifungal remedy starting from 4 to 21 days.

CAM was essentially the most prevalent agent accountable for secondary fungal infections in India. These infections have been primarily managed with amphotericin B, both as a single drug or together with different antifungal medication.

The overall period of AFTs for CAM was between 11 and 150 days. The next survival frequency was noticed amongst COVID-19 sufferers with secondary fungal an infection subjected to AFTs as in comparison with those that weren’t receiving remedy. 


One of many limitations of the present research is that it failed to focus on the best particular person AFT or class of antifungal brokers to deal with COVID-19 sufferers with fungal co-infection. Moreover, a number of the reviews included on this research failed to say the precise antifungal medication, dosage, period of remedy, and different related info.

However, the present research strongly indicated that CAC, CAPA, and CAM are the most typical fungal secondary infections amongst COVID-19 sufferers. These sufferers are handled with fluconazole (CAC), voriconazole (CAPA), and liposomal amphotericin B (CAM).

General, the survival price of handled sufferers was a lot greater in comparison with untreated sufferers.

Journal reference:
  • Sah, S. Okay., Shariff, A., Pathakamuri, N., et al. (2022) Antifungal remedy within the administration of fungal secondary infections in COVID-19 sufferers: A scientific overview and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 17(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0271795.



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