Frequency of Positive Aspergillus Tests in COVID-19 Patients in Comparison to Other Patients with Pulmonary Infections Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to describe the frequency of positive Aspergillus tests in COVID-19 patients and investigate the association between COVID-19 and a positive Aspergillus test result. We compared the proportion of positive Aspergillus tests in COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for.24 h with two control groups: patients with community-acquired pneumonia with (i) a PCR-confirmed influenza infection (considered a positive control since the link between influenza and invasive aspergillosis has been established) and (ii) Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia (in whom positive Aspergillus tests are mostly considered as colonization). During the study period, 92 COVID-19 patients (mean [standard deviation] age, 62 [14] years; 76.1% males), 48 influenza patients (55 [14]; 56.2% males), and 65 pneumococcal pneumonia patients (58 [15], 63,1% males) were identified. Any positive Aspergillus test from any respiratory sample was found in 10.9% of the COVID-19 patients, 6.2% of the patients with pneumococcal pneumonia, and 22.9% of those infected with influenza. A positive culture or PCR or galactomannan test on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid only was found in 5.4% of COVID-19 patients, which was lower than in patients with influenza (18.8%) and comparable to that in the pneumococcal pneumonia group (4.6%). Using logistic regression analysis, the odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval) for a positive Aspergillus test on BAL fluid for COVID-19 patients was 1.2 (0.3 to 5.1; P = 0.8) compared to the pneumococcal pneumonia group, while it was 0.2 (0.1 to 0.8; P = 0.02) compared to the influenza group. This difference remained significant when corrected for age and sex. In conclusion, in COVID-19 patients, the prevalence of a positive Aspergillus test was comparable to that in patients admitted for pneumococcal pneumonia but substantially lower than what we observed in patients with influenza.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02278-20
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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