Post-COVID-19 Pneumocystis pneumonia cases from Pakistan: an observational study

Hammad Niamatullah, Nosheen Nasir, Kauser Jabeen, Salima Rattani, Joveria Farooqi, Najia Ghanchi, Muhammad Irfan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Concurrent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) has been described in various reports, with a recent study describing a 9.3 % P. jirovecii detection rate in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Methods. Patients with PCR-confirmed PJP following COVID-19 infection who were admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan from March 2020-June 2021 were identified through a laboratory database. Detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus was performed by RT-PCR Cobas SARS-CoV-2 qualitative assay. P. jirovecii PCR was performed using the RealStar Pneumocystis jirovecii PCR kit. Clinical, radiological and laboratory data for PJP patients were recorded. Results. During the study period, 3707 patients were admitted with COVID-19 at our hospital. P. jirovecii PCR was requested for 90 patients and was positive in 10 (11 %). Five out of 10 patients were discharged from the hospital and later developed cough and dyspnoea. Five patients remained hospitalized with severe COVID-19 and developed PJP. Eight patients in our study received systemic steroids. The trends of lymphocyte counts of all patients showed a lymphocyte count of <1000 mm−3 (<1.0×106 cells µl−1) in the week of PJP diagnosis. Four patients did not survive; one of these patients did not receive co-trimoxazole due to late diagnosis, one patient had concomitant nosocomial pneumonia and bacteraemia with multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter species, and two patients had concomitant aspergillosis. Conclusion. In summary, invasive fungal infections such as PJP should be considered as a complication in COVID-19 patients, with prompt evaluation and management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000406
JournalAccess Microbiology
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Pakistan
  • Pneumocystis pneumonia
  • fungal infection
  • superinfection

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