COVID-19 associated mucormycosis (CAM) and other fungal infections: A review

Document Type : Review Article


Department of Microbiology, Captain Srinivasa Murthy Central Ayurveda Research Institute, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Arignar Anna Government Hospital Campus, Arumbakkam, Chennai, 600106, Tamil Nadu, India


Background: SARS-CoV-2 virus caused the COVID-19 epidemic, which eventually turned into a global pandemic. Immunomodulatory drugs used in COVID-19 treatment pave the way for opportunistic fungal infection and eventually lead to death in immunocompromised patients. Mucormycosis, candidiasis, aspergillosis, and fungal pneumonia are humans' most common fungal infections. Mucorales fungi like Rhizopus, Rhizomucor, Mucor, Rhizopus oryzae, and other fungi including Aspergillus, Candida auris, Candida sp., etc. induce COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM) and also other fungal infections in immunocompromised patients. In addition, Mucorales produce a localized infection in the sinuses (paranasal sinuses), infection in orbit (sino-orbital), and infection in the orbit of the brain parenchyma (rhinocerebral infection). The angio-invasive fungus infects the pulmonary and dermal regions. Fever, headache, cough, shortness of breath, eyelid drooping, chest pain, periorbital and nasal oedema (swelling), and inflammation are major symptoms of CAM. Direct microscopic methods, fungal culture on medium, and molecular approaches are used to confirm the fungal strains at the species level. Antifungals such as amphotericin B, posaconazole, or isavuconazole are utilized to treat fungal infections and, in critical condition, surgically remove the debridement. However, antifungal-resistant fungal species appear harmful and discovering novel compounds to combat them is a top priority for the scientific community.



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