Not mucor alone, Bengaluru hospitals see two more fungal infections | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Not all fungal infections in patients who have recovered from Covid are due to mucormycosis, a hospital has found. Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans are among other fungi that are infecting patients.
Doctors at Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College Hospital, which has treated more than 140 patients with mucormycosis, say cell culture tests have shown the presence of all three fungi.
“In multiple cases, we have seen the presence of all three fungi. However, mucormycosis is most invasive and is fatal compared to Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans,” Dr Chikkanarasa Reddy, head of paediatrics, Bowring and Lady Curzon medical college hospital, said. HCG hospital, which is treating mucormycosis infections and had set up a helpline for the purpose, has seen two cases of triple fungal infections. “But we have seen multiple cases with both mucormycosis and Aspergillus niger present,” said Dr Gaurav Madikeri, ENT surgeon, program director, Skull base unit at HCG group.
Dr Deepak Haldipur, ENT surgeon, Trustwell hospital, who has been treating mucor cases, said that in 95% of the cases, cell culture studies have also shown the presence of mucormycosis itself, in line with the initial diagnosis. “In some cases, we have seen super added infections of Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans. But they are not as worrisome as mucormycosis as they are not that fatal,” said Dr Haldipur.
However, according to Dr PG Girish, director of medical education, mucormycosis is confirmed in not more than 30% of the cases initially diagnosed as mucormycosis. “We are now seeing more cases of other fungal infections. Covid-19 severe disease is suppressing the immune response to fungal infections,” he said.
According to Dr Ambika R, professor and HOD, department of microbiology at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans can be contaminants too. “If only Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans are grown in the same patient 2-3 times, then only we can call them a pathogen. Sometimes Candida can also grow in the swab sample of the patient, without the patient being infected. So far, in most of the tests we have conducted, we have seen mucormycosis only. Very rarely have we seen other fungal infections,” said Dr Ambika.

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Sagar Biswas

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