COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) in patients admitted with severe COVID-19 pneumonia: An observational study from Pakistan

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Background: Invasive aspergillosis is a well-known complication of severe influenza pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, recent studies are reporting emergence of aspergillosis in severe COVID-19 pneumonia, named as COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA). Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia from February 2020 to April 2020. Patients ≥18 years of age with clinical features and abnormal chest imaging with confirmed COVID-19 by RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 were included. CAPA was diagnosed based on clinical parameters, radiological findings and mycological data. Data were recorded on a structured proforma, and descriptive analysis was performed using Stata ver 12.1. Results: A total of 147 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 23 (15.6%) patients requiring ICU admission were identified. Aspergillus species were isolated from tracheal aspirates of nine (39.1%) patients, and of these, five patients (21.7%) were diagnosed with CAPA and four (17.4%) had Aspergillus colonisation. The mean age of patients with CAPA was 69 years (Median age: 71, IQR: 24, Range: 51-85), and 3/5 patients were male. The most frequent co-morbid was diabetes mellitus (4/5). The overall fatality rate of COVID-19 patients with aspergillosis was 44% (4/9). The cause of death was ARDS in all three patients with CAPA, and the median length of stay was 16 days (IQR: 10; Range 6-35 days). Conclusion: This study highlights the need for comparative studies to establish whether there is an association of aspergillosis and COVID-19 and the need for screening for fungal infections in severe COVID-19 patients with certain risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-770
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • COVID-19-associated aspergillosis
  • ICU admission
  • Pakistan
  • invasive aspergillosis
  • severe COVID-19


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