Predisposition of COVID-19 patients to secondary infections: set in stone or subject to change?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


PURPOSE of reviewThere likely are several predisposing factors to secondary infections in patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), some of which may be preventable. The aim of this review is to explore the literature, summarize potential predisposing factors to secondary infections and their incidence. It also summarizes a variety of healthcare scenarios in which different kinds of secondary infections occur.Recent findingsApart from immune dysregulation, severe resource limitations in healthcare settings have made COVID-19 units conducive to a variety of secondary infections. Long-term effect of excess antibiotic use in COVID-19 patients is yet to be studied. Very few studies have assessed secondary infections as the primary outcome measure making it difficult to know the true incidence. Mortality attributable to secondary infections in COVID-19 patients is also unclear.SummaryIncidence of secondary infections in COVID-19 patients is likely higher than what is reported in the literature. Well designed studies are needed to understand the incidence and impact of secondary infections in this patient population. Many of these may be preventable especially now, as personal protective equipment and other healthcare resources are recovering. Infection prevention and control (IPC) and antimicrobial stewardship programmes (ASP) must reassess current situation to correct any breaches that could potentially cause more harm in these already vulnerable patients as we brace for a future surge with another pandemic wave.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • antibiotic use in CoVID-19
  • antimicrobial resistance during COVID-19
  • bacterial infections in COVID-19
  • coinfections in COVID-19
  • fungal infections in COVID-19
  • secondary infections in COVID-19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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