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Comparison of influenza- and COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis in China.

PURPOSE: We conducted a monocentric retrospective study using the latest definitions to compare the demographic, clinical, and biological characteristics of influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) and COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA).

METHODS: The study retrospectively enrolled 180 patients, including 70 influenza/IPA patients (with positive influenza A/B and Aspergillus) and 110 COVID-19/IPA patients (with positive SARS-CoV-2 and Aspergillus). Among them, 42 (60%) and 30 (27.3%) patients fulfilled the definitions of IAPA and CAPA, respectively.

RESULTS: The CAPA patients had significantly higher in-hospital mortality (13/31, 41.9%) than IAPA patients (8/42, 19%) with a P-value of 0.033. Kaplan-Meier survival curve also showed significantly higher 30-day mortality for CAPA patients (P = 0.025). Additionally, the CAPA patients were older, though insignificantly, than IAPA patients (70 (60-80) vs. 62 (52-72), P = 0.075). A lower percentage of chronic pulmonary disease (12.9 vs. 40.5%, P = 0.01) but higher corticosteroids use 7 days before and after ICU admission (22.6% vs. 0%, P = 0.002) were found in CAPA patients. Notably, there were no significant differences in the percentage of ICU admission or ICU mortality between the two groups. In addition, the time from observation to Aspergillus diagnosis was significantly longer in CAPA patients than in IAPA patients (7 (2-13) vs. 0 (0-4.5), P = 0.048).

CONCLUSION: Patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and Aspergillus during the concentrated outbreak of COVID-19 in China had generally higher in-hospital mortality but a lower percentage of chronic pulmonary disease than those infected with influenza and Aspergillus. For influenza-infected patients who require hospitalization, close attention should be paid to the risk of invasive aspergillosis upfront.

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