Isolation of Aspergillus spp. in respiratory samples of patients with COVID-19 in a Spanish tertiary care hospital

I Falces-Romero, M Ruiz-Bastián, B Díaz-Pollán, E Maseda, J García-Rodríguez
Mycoses 2020 August 4

BACKGROUND: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a complication of respiratory bacterial and viral infections such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

PATIENTS/METHODS: In University Hospital La Paz (Madrid, Spain), we reviewed the clinical and demographic characteristics of 10 patients with positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR and Aspergillus spp. isolate in respiratory samples. We also recovered results of galactomannan tests in serum and/or bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples.

RESULTS: Eight male and two female from 51 to 76 years were recovered. They had reported risk factors to develop IPA (hematological malignancies, immunosuppression, diabetes, obesity, intensive care unit stay, among others). Azole susceptible Aspergillus fumigatus was isolated in nine patients and Aspergillus nidulans was isolated in one patient. Only one case was classified as probable aspergillosis, seven cases as putative aspergillosis, and two cases were not classifiable. Eight patients received antifungal treatment. Seven patients died (70%), two are still inpatient due to nosocomial infections and one was discharged referred to another institution.

CONCLUSIONS: This clinical entity has high mortality and therefore it should be performed surveillance with early galactomannan tests and cultures in respiratory samples in order to improve the outcome of the patients with this condition.

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