COVID-19 Associated Fungal infections in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh: A Descriptive Study
Keywords:Post-COVID-19, Mucormycosis, Risk factors, Fungal species
Background: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave in India, there has been an unprecedented rise of life-threatening cases of rhinocerebral mucormycosis (RCM) by various fungi like Mucor, Aspergillus, Candida, and others in post-COVID-19 patients, especially in presence of immunosuppressive conditions due to their invasive potential.
Aim: To assess the incidence of COVID-19 mucormycosis on routine culture methods and various risk factors associated with the second and third wave of COVID-19.
Material and Methods: The descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted from April 1st, 2021 to February 28th 2022, in the department of Microbiology, NRI medical college, and General Hospital, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. The present study included 240 specimens from suspected post-COVID mucormycosis cases. The statistical analysis of data was done using MS Excel 2010.
Results: Out of 240 specimens, 192 (80%) fungal isolates were isolated. Most of the cases are seen in males and the main risk factor was diabetes mellitus (89%). Most of the species isolated were Mucor species followed by Aspergillus species, Candida species, Rhizopus species, and Absidia species. Antifungal sensitivity of Candida species showed good susceptibility to azole discs.
Conclusion: The study concluded that if infected, early diagnosis with culture, strategies to maintain a glycaemic index, and cautious use of corticosteroids, anti-fungal treatment, and surgical intervention should be sought for management, for good prognosis and less fulminant disease course can be achieved in post-COVID rhinocerebral mucormycosis cases.
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