Trichosporon asahii superinfections in critically ill COVID-19 patients overexposed to antimicrobials and corticosteroids

Link to article at PubMed

Mycoses. 2021 Jun 5. doi: 10.1111/myc.13333. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the occurrence of Trichosporon asahii fungemia among critically ill COVID-19 patients.

METHODS: From July 1st to September 30th , 2020, cases of T. asahii fungemia (TAF) in a Brazilian COVID-19 referral center were investigated. The epidemiology and clinical courses were detailed, along with a mycological investigation that included molecular species identification, haplotype diversity analysis, and antifungal susceptibility testing.

RESULTS: Five critically ill COVID-19 patients developed TAF in the period. All five patients had common risk conditions for TAF: central venous catheter at fungemia, previous exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics, prior echinocandin therapy, and previous prolonged corticosteroid therapy. The average time of intensive care unit hospitalization previous to the TAF episode was 23 days. All but one patient had voriconazole therapy, and TAF 30-day mortality was 80%. The five T.asahii strains from the COVID-19 patients belonged to 4 different haplotypes, mitigating the possibility of skin origin and cross-transmission linking the 5 reported episodes. The antifungal susceptibility testing revealed low minimal inhibitory concentrations for azole derivatives.

CONCLUSIONS: Judicious prescription of antibiotics, corticosteroids, and antifungals need to be discussed in critically ill COVID-19 patients to prevent infections by hard-to-treat fungi like T. asahii.

PMID:34091966 | DOI:10.1111/myc.13333

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