Global Prevalence of COVID-19-Associated Mucormycosis (CAM): Living Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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HUSSAIN Mohammad Salman RIAD Abanoub SINGH Ambrish KLUGAROVÁ Jitka ANTONY Benny BANNA Hasanul KLUGAR Miloslav

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Fungi
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords coinfection; COVID-19; epidemiology; meta-analysis; mucormycosis; mycoses; prevalence; risk factors; systematic review
Description Mucormycosis, a secondary fungal infection, gained much attention in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This deadly infection has a high all-cause mortality rate and imposes a significant economic, epidemiological, and humanistic burden on the patients and healthcare system. Evidence from the published epidemiological studies showed the varying prevalence of COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM). This study aims to compute the pooled prevalence of CAM and other associated clinical outcomes. MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, and WHO COVID-19 databases were scanned to retrieve the relevant articles until August 2021. All studies reporting the prevalence of mucormycosis among COVID-19 patients were eligible for inclusion. Two investigators independently screened the articles against the selection criteria, extracted the data, and performed the quality assessment using the JBI tool. The pooled prevalence of CAM was the primary outcome, and the pooled prevalence of diabetes, steroid exposure, and the mortality rate were the secondary outcomes of interest. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software version 2 was used for performing the meta-analysis. This meta-analysis comprised six studies with a pooled sample size of 52,916 COVID-19 patients with a mean age of 62.12 ± 9.69 years. The mean duration of mucormycosis onset was 14.59 ± 6.88 days after the COVID-19 diagnosis. The pooled prevalence of CAM (seven cases per 1000 patients) was 50 times higher than the highest recorded background of mucormycosis (0.14 cases per 1000 patients). A high mortality rate was found among CAM patients with a pooled prevalence rate of 29.6% (95% CI: 17.2–45.9%). Optimal glycemic control and the judicious use of steroids should be the approach for tackling rising CAM cases.
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