Growth of Aspergillus and Mucor spp. in sputum culture of a post-COVID patient: fungal infection or colonization? A clinical challenge in COVID-era

Authors

  • Tufayel Ahmed Chowdhury Assistant Professor, Department of Nephrology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Talha Sami Ul Haque Resident Medical Officer, Department of Nephrology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Lovely Barai Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Muhammad Abdur Rahim Associate Professor, Department of Nephrology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Mehruba Alam Ananna Associate Professor, Department of Nephrology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Israt Jahan Assistant Registrar, Department of Nephrology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Sarwar Iqbal Professor, Department of Nephrology, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/birdem.v11i3.55223

Keywords:

colonization, COVID-19, invasive fungal infection, pulmonary aspergillosis, pulmonary mucormycosis

Abstract

Opportunistic infections, especially invasive fungal infections have emerged as an added health issue in this COVID-era. The dysregulated immune mechanisms in the pathophysiology of COVID-19, its treatment with corticosteroids and other immunomodulatory agents, invasive mechanical ventilation and other forms of ventilatory and oxygen delivery systems, prolonged hospital stay, injudicious use of antimicrobials – all have set the required stages for such infections. Aspergillus spp. and Mucorales are ubiquitous, environmental fungus; may colonize in airways and chronically damaged human lungs, without significant health effects and cause disease, especially in immunocompromized patients. We report case history of a middle aged Bangladeshi man with multiple comorbidities, who presented with fever and respiratory symptoms, four-months after recovery from COVID-19. He had Aspergillus and Mucors on sputum microscopy and cultures; but his response to antibiotics suggested these were colonozations in previously injured lungs by tuberculosis in the form of fibrosis and bronchiectasis. He is well and free of symptoms, two-months since discharge.

BIRDEM Med J 2021; 11(3): 218-222

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Published

2021-08-22

How to Cite

Chowdhury, T. A. ., Haque, T. S. U., Barai, L. ., Rahim, M. A. ., Ananna, M. A. ., Jahan, I. ., & Iqbal, S. . (2021). Growth of Aspergillus and Mucor spp. in sputum culture of a post-COVID patient: fungal infection or colonization? A clinical challenge in COVID-era. BIRDEM Medical Journal, 11(3), 218–222. https://doi.org/10.3329/birdem.v11i3.55223

Issue

Section

Case Reports