J Epidemiol Glob Health. 2022 Apr 9. doi: 10.1007/s44197-022-00038-4. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Coinfection at various sites can complicate the clinical course of coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) patients leading to worse prognosis and increased mortality. We aimed to investigate the occurrence of coinfection in critically ill COVID-19 cases, and the predictive role of routinely tested biomarkers on admission for mortality.
METHODS: This is a retrospective study of all SARS-CoV-2-infected cases, who were admitted to King Fahad Hospital of the University between March 2020 and December 2020. We reviewed the data in the electronic charts in the healthcare information management system including initial presentation, clinical course, radiological and laboratory findings and reported all significant microbiological cultures that indicated antimicrobial therapy. The mortality data were reviewed for severely ill patients who were admitted to critical care units.
RESULTS: Of 1091 admitted patients, there were 70 fatalities (6.4%). 182 COVID-19 persons were admitted to the critical care service, of whom 114 patients (62.6%) survived. The in-hospital mortality was 13.4%. Coinfection was noted in 67/68 non-survivors, and Gram-negative pathogens (Enterobacterales, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumanni) represented more than 50% of the etiological agents. We noted that the serum procalcitonin on admission was higher for non-survivors (Median = 1.6 ng/mL ± 4.7) than in survivors (Median = 0.2 ng/mL ± 4.2) (p ≤ 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Coinfection is a serious complication for COVID-19 especially in the presence of co-morbidities. High levels of procalcitonin on admission may predict non-survival in critically ill cases in whom bacterial or fungal co-infection is likely.