BMC Infect Dis. 2022 Feb 23;22(1):185. doi: 10.1186/s12879-022-07176-x.
OBJECTIVES: Severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has had a heavy impact on national health system, especially in the first wave. That impact hit principally the intensive care units (ICUs). The large number of patients requiring hospitalization in ICUs lead to a complete upheaval of intensive wards. The increase in bed, the fewer number of nurses per patient, the constant use of personal protective equipment, the new antimicrobial surveillance protocols could have had deeply effects on microbiological flora of these wards. Moreover, the overconsumption of antimicrobial therapy in COVID-19 patients, like several studies report, could have impact of this aspect. Aim of this study is to evaluate the changing pattern of microbiological respiratory isolates during and before COVID-19 pandemic in a tertiary hospital ICUs.
METHODS: A retrospective, observational study was conducted in ICUs of "ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII", a large tertiary referral hospital in Northern Italy. We have retrospectively collected the microbiological data from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and tracheal aspirate (TA) of patients with COVID-19, hospitalized in ICUs from 22nd February 2020 to 31st May 2020 (Period 1), and without COVID-19, from 22nd February 2019 to 31st May 2019 (Period 2). We compared the prevalence and the antibiotic profile of bacterial and fungal species in the two time periods.
RESULTS: The prevalence of Pseudomonas spp. shows a statistically significant increase from patients without COVID-19 compared to COVID-19 positive as well as the prevalence of Enterococcus spp. On the contrary, the prevalence of Gram negative non fermenting bacteria (GN-NFB), Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae showed a significant reduction between two periods. There was a statistically significant increase in resistance of Pseudomonas spp. to carbapenems and piperacillin/tazobactam and Enterobacterales spp. for piperacillin/tazobactam, in COVID-19 positive patients compared to patients without COVID-19. We did not observe significant changing in fungal respiratory isolates.
CONCLUSIONS: A changing pattern in prevalence and resistance profiles of bacterial and fungal species was observed during COVID-19 pandemic.