Original Articles

Bacterial coinfections in COVID-19: an underestimated adversary


Current literature shows that secondary bacterial infections, although less frequent than in previous influenza pandemics, affect COVID-19 patients. Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Legionella pneumophila, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus and Klebsiella spp. are the main species isolated. Of note, Mycobacterium tuberculosis-COVID-19 coinfections are also reported. However, bacterial coinfection rates increase in patients admitted in the intensive care units, and those diseases can be due to super-infections by nosocomial antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This highlights the urgency to revise frequent and empiric prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics in COVID-19 patients, with more attention to evidence-based studies and respect for the antimicrobial stewardship principles.


COVID-19; bacterial coinfections; superinfections; antibiotics; therapy; intensive care unit

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