Co-infections and superinfections complicating COVID-19 in cancer patients: A multicentre, international study

Gudiol C., Durà-Miralles X., Aguilar-Company J., Hernández-Jiménez P., Martínez-Cutillas M., Fernandez-Avilés F., ...More

Journal of Infection, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.07.014
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Infection


© 2021Background: We aimed to describe the epidemiology, risk factors, and clinical outcomes of co-infections and superinfections in onco-hematological patients with COVID-19. Methods: International, multicentre cohort study of cancer patients with COVID-19. All patients were included in the analysis of co-infections at diagnosis, while only patients admitted at least 48 h were included in the analysis of superinfections. Results: 684 patients were included (384 with solid tumors and 300 with hematological malignancies). Co-infections and superinfections were documented in 7.8% (54/684) and 19.1% (113/590) of patients, respectively. Lower respiratory tract infections were the most frequent infectious complications, most often caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Only seven patients developed opportunistic infections. Compared to patients without infectious complications, those with infections had worse outcomes, with high rates of acute respiratory distress syndrome, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and case-fatality rates. Neutropenia, ICU admission and high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) were independent risk factors for infections. Conclusions: Infectious complications in cancer patients with COVID-19 were lower than expected, affecting mainly neutropenic patients with high levels of CRP and/or ICU admission. The rate of opportunistic infections was unexpectedly low. The use of empiric antimicrobials in cancer patients with COVID-19 needs to be optimized.