Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is a new infectious disease responsible for potentially severe respiratory impairment associated with initial immunosuppression. Similarly to influenza, several authors have described a higher risk of fungal infection after COVID-19, in particular for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The main objective here is to define the prevalence of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in a cohort of COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS).
We conducted a large monocentric retrospective study investigating all the ventilated COVID-19 patients with ARDS hospitalized at Valenciennes’ general hospital, France, between March 15, 2020 and April 30, 2020. In the center a systematic IPA screening strategy was carried out for all ARDS patients, with weekly tests of serum galactomannan and beta-D-glucan. Bronchoalveolar lavage with culture and chest CT scan were performed when the serum assays were positives.
A total of 54 patients were studied. Their median age was 65 years, and 37 of the patients (71%) were male. Two patients had chronic immunosuppression and among all the patients, only 2 non-immunocompromised presented a putative IPA during their stay.
The prevalence of IPA in this cohort of COVID-19 patients (3.7%) is not higher than what is described in the other ARDS populations in the literature. These results are however different from the previous publications on COVID-19 patients and must therefore be confirmed by larger and multicentric studies.