Opportunistic fungal infections increase morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients monitored in intensive care units (ICU). As patients’ hospitalization days in the ICU and intubation period increase, opportunistic infections also increase, which prolongs hospital stay days and elevates costs. The study aimed to describe the profile of fungal infections and identify the risk factors associated with mortality in COVID-19 intensive care patients. The records of 627 patients hospitalized in ICU with the diagnosis of COVID-19 were investigated from electronic health records and hospitalization files. The demographic characteristics (age, gender), the number of ICU hospitalization days and mortality rates, APACHE II scores, accompanying diseases, antibiotic-steroid treatments taken during hospitalization, and microbiological results (blood, urine, tracheal aspirate samples) of the patients were recorded. Opportunistic fungal infection was detected in 32 patients (5.10%) of 627 patients monitored in ICU with a COVID-19 diagnosis. The average APACHE II score of the patients was 28 ± 6. While 25 of the patients (78.12%) died, seven (21.87%) were discharged from the ICU. Candida parapsilosis (43.7%) was the opportunistic fungal agent isolated from most blood samples taken from COVID-19 positive patients. The mortality rate of COVID-19 positive patients with candidemia was 80%. While two out of the three patients (66.6%) for whom fungi were grown from their tracheal aspirate died, one patient (33.3%) was transferred to the ward. Opportunistic fungal infections increase the mortality rate of COVID-19-positive patients. In addition to the risk factors that we cannot change, invasive procedures should be avoided, constant blood sugar regulation should be applied, and unnecessary antibiotics use should be avoided.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology