COVID-19 and Co-infection in Children: The Indian Perspectives

J Trop Pediatr. 2021 Aug 27;67(4):fmab073. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmab073.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Assessing the co-infections with COVID-19 is crucial to delineate its true clinical impact. Pediatric information in this aspect is limited. Our study aims to analyze the spectrum of co-infections in pediatric COVID-19 patients and determine the clinical as well as laboratory parameters predicting co-infection.

METHODOLOGY: In this prospective observational study conducted from June to December 2020 in a single tertiary care institution, data pertaining to demographic, illness and treatment-related variables were analyzed among two subsets of pediatric patients of age 1 month-12 years with RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection-Group A: those with confirmed co-infection and Group B: moderate to severe disease without co-infection. Among Group A, etiology of co-infection was characterized through relevant microbiological examination within 48 h admission.

RESULT: Among our study population, 15.03% and 20.6% had co-infections and moderate to severe disease respectively. Among those with confirmed co-infection, 32.5%, 11.6% and 6.97% recorded blood culture, respiratory secretion and CSF growth, respectively, the picture being dominated by Methicillin resistant and sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Serum serology demonstrated Scrub typhus infection to be most prevalent. Concurrent respiratory viral infections were seen in 11.6%. Children with co-infection had significantly higher morbidity and need for supportive therapy. Predictors of co-infection were localization of infection, Neutrophil count ≥10×109, age-specific lymphopenia, CRP > 100 mg/dl and hyperferritinemia.

CONCLUSION: Co-infections are an important factor prognosticating pediatric COVID infection. Their early detection, prompt and appropriate treatment is of paramount importance.

PMID:34478546 | DOI:10.1093/tropej/fmab073