Bacterial, fungal coinfection uncommon in COVID-19 patients,
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Bacterial and fungal infections are uncommon in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but coinfection is associated with high mortality and antibiotic use is widespread, according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers conducted a retrospective observational study of COVID-19 patients to characterize the microbiology of bacterial and fungal coinfections during the pandemic surge.

-- The researchers identified bacterial or fungal coinfections in 152 of 4,267 COVID-19 patients (3.6 percent); mortality was 57 percent, while 16 percent of patients were discharged and 28 percent were still admitted at the time of analysis.
-- Seventy-four percent of patients received mechanical ventilation. Overall, 91 (60 percent), 82 (54 percent), and 21 (14 percent) patients had positive respiratory cultures, positive blood cultures, and both positive blood and respiratory cultures, respectively.
-- Nine percent of patients (13 patient) had polymicrobial cultures.
-- Seventy-nine percent of patients had antibiotic exposure in the 30 days before positive microbiology.
-- Ninety-eight percent of the study patients received antibiotics at any point during COVID-19 hospitalization; 107 patients (70 percent) received more than three antibiotic classes.
-- Of 5,853 COVID-19 patients admitted, 71 percent received at least one antibiotic dose.

"The pandemic has highlighted the need for close collaboration between stewardship and infection prevention programs to monitor for nosocomial infections, excess antibiotic use and multidrug resistance," the authors write.

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