Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination against COVID -associated Mucormycosis
Dr. Saurabh Shrivastava,
House #71, Arya Nagar, 1st lane, Morar, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) infections may be associated with a wide range of opportunistic bacterial and fungal co-infections. Both Aspergillus and Candida have been reported as the main fungal pathogens for co-infection in people with COVID-19. During the COVID-19 pandemic, another threat has emerged as a challenge to India was in the form of COVID-associated mucormycosis.
Aim: To study the incidence of COVID-associated rhino-orbital mucormycosis in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.
Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was carried out at Gajra Raja Medical College and Jay Arogya Hospital, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India, over a period of two months (May to June 2021). A total of 94 patients with post-COVID rhino-orbital mucormycosis were reported in the institute during the study period. Biopsy or postoperative surgical specimens were received for histopathological examination with a proper history of diabetes mellitus, steroid intake, and vaccination status. Histologically confirmed COVID-associated rhino-orbital mucormycosis cases were included in the study and its incidence was compared in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.
Results: Total 94 patients were confirmed histopathologically, with mucormycosis. It was noted that mucormycosis was more common in males as compared to females. Of the total number of cases, 71 (75.5%) cases had a history of diabetes mellitus and 73 (77.7%) had a history of steroid intake. Eighty-six (91.5%) cases were unvaccinated while only 8 (8.5%) were either completely or partially vaccinated. Incidence of mucormycosis was found to be more amongst unvaccinated patients as compared to vaccinated patients.
Conclusion: Mucormycosis is one of the major post-COVID threats. Diabetes mellitus and steroid intake were found to be the main risk factors for post-COVID mucormycosis. However, it has also been noted that mucormycosis can occur without a previous history of diabetes and steroid intake. Incidence of mucormycosis was found to be higher amongst unvaccinated patients as compared to vaccinated patients. Hence, vaccination against COVID-19 is likely to be effective in the prevention of COVID-associated mucormycosis.