Secondary infections in mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-19: An overlooked matter?

Rev Esp Quimioter. 2021 Mar 23:suarez23mar2021. doi: 10.37201/req/031.2021. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The susceptibility to infection probably increases in COVID-19 patients due to a combination of virusand drug-induced immunosuppression. The reported rate of secondary infections was quite low in previous studies. The objectives of our study were to investigate the rate of secondary infections, risk factors for secondary infections and risk factors for mortality in COVID-19 critically ill patients.

METHODS: We performed a single-center retrospective study in mechanically ventilated critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to our Critical Care Unit (CCU). We recorded the patients' demographic data; clinical data; microbiology data and incidence of secondary infection during CCU stay, including ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and nosocomial bacteremia (primary and secondary).

RESULTS: A total of 107 patients with a mean age 62.2 ± 10.6 years were included. Incidence of secondary infection during CCU stay was 43.0% (46 patients), including nosocomial bacteremia (34 patients) and VAP (35 patients). Age was related to development of secondary infection (65.2 ± 7.3 vs. 59.9 ± 12.2 years, p=0.007). Age ≥ 65 years and secondary infection were independent predictors of mortality (OR=2.692, 95% CI 1.068-6.782, p<0.036; and OR=3.658, 95% CI 1.385- 9.660, p=0.009, respectively). The hazard ratio for death within 90 days in the ≥ 65 years group and in patients infected by antimicrobial resistant pathogens was 1.901 (95% CI 1.198- 3.018; p= 0.005 by log-rank test) and 1.787 (95% CI 1.023-3.122; p= 0.036 by log-rank test), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the incidence of secondary infection and infection by antimicrobial resistant pathogens is very high in critically ill patients with COVID-19 with a significant impact on prognosis.

PMID:33764004 | DOI:10.37201/req/031.2021