Invasive fungal infections in patients with COVID-19: a review on pathogenesis, epidemiology, clinical features, treatment, and outcomes

New Microbiol. 2021 Apr;44(2):71-83.


COVID-19 is frequently associated with the onset of secondary infections, especially in severe cases treated in the intensive care unit. While bacterial pathogens are the most frequently encountered causative agents, several factors put SARS-CoV-2 infected patients at a heightened risk of invasive fungal infections, which have been recognized as a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. Moreover, the frequent occurrence of these complications in severely ill subjects and the absence of pathognomonic features, together with the emergence of fungal species with reduced susceptibility to first-line treatments and the difficult to manage safety profile of several antifungal drugs, demand an additional focus on these rare but challenging complications. In this review, we will summarize the currently available literature on fungal superinfections in COVID-19 patients, exploring the pathogenesis, epidemiology, clinical features, treatment, and outcomes.