REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1442.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: COVID-19; co-infection; secondary infection; multidrug resistance; alternative strategies
Online: 19 May 2023 (12:02:20 CEST)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially serious acute respiratory infection caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the virus has spread to more than 200 countries with more than 500 million cases and more than 6 million deaths reported globally. It has long been known that viral respiratory tract infections predispose patients to bacterial infections and that these co-infections often have an unfavourable clinical outcome. Moreover, nosocomial infections, also known as health care-associated infections (HAIs), are those infections that are absent at the time of admission and acquired after hospitalization. However, the impact of coinfections or secondary infections on the progression of COVID-19 disease and its lethal outcome is still debated. The aim of this review was to assess the literature on the incidence of bacterial co-infections and superinfections in patients with COVID-19. The review also highlights the importance of the rational use of antibiotics in patients with COVID-19 and the need to implement antimicrobial stewardship principles to prevent the transmission of drug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings. Finally, alternative antimicrobial agents to counter the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections in COVID-19 patients will also be discussed.