Secondary infections in COVID-19 patients: A two-centre retrospective observational study

  • Şirin Menekşe Department of Infectious Diseases, Koşuyolu Kartal Heart Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
  • Seçil Deniz Department of Infectious Diseases, Pamukkale University School of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey
Keywords: COVID-19, secondary infections, carbapenem resistance, intensive care unit infections


Introduction: We sought to evaluate secondary infections (SIs) in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for COVID-19 with respect to incidence, causative pathogens, and clinical outcomes.

Methodology: In this two-centre retrospective study, we analysed 146 patients (96 males, 50 females; median age, 64 years) admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 between March 26 and December 31, 2020. Inclusion criteria were an ICU admission for at least 48 hours and age beyond 18 years. Patients with and without SIs were compared and the impacts of SIs and carbapenem resistance on mortality were analysed. 

Results: During ICU admission, 84 episodes of SIs developed in 58 patients (39.7%). A total of 104 isolates were recovered, with Gram-negative bacteria most frequent accounting for 74%. At least one carbapenem-resistant pathogen (n = 61) was recovered in 41 patients (70.1%). In multivariate analysis, the use of ECMO and an elevated procalcitonin level were significantly associated with the development of SIs. The mortality rate and the incidence of carbapenem resistance did not differ significantly in COVID-19 patients with and without SIs (p = 0.059 and p = 0.083, respectively). 

Conclusions: The incidences of SIs and carbapenem resistance among COVID-19 patients were alarming, emphasizing stricter infection control measures in the ICU setting.


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How to Cite
Menekşe Şirin, Deniz S (2022) Secondary infections in COVID-19 patients: A two-centre retrospective observational study. J Infect Dev Ctries 16:1294-1301. doi: 10.3855/jidc.15637
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