Bacterial infections are known to complicate respiratory viral infections and are associated with adverse outcomes in COVID-19 patients. A case control study was conducted to determine risk factors for bacterial infections where cases were defined as moderate to severe/critical COVID-19 patients with bacterial infection and those without were included as controls. Logistic regression analysis was performed.
Out of a total of 50 cases and 50 controls, greater proportion of cases had severe or critical disease at presentation as compared to control i.e 80% vs 30% (p<0.001). Hospital acquired pneumonia (72%) and Gram negative organisms (82%) were predominant. Overall antibiotic utilization was 82% and was 64% in patients who had no evidence of bacterial infection. The median length of stay was significantly longer among cases compared to controls (12.5 versus 7.5 days) (p=0.001). The overall mortality was 30%, with comparatively higher proportion of deaths among cases (42% versus 18%) (p=0.009). Severe or critical COVID-19 at presentation (AOR: 4.42 times; 95% CI; 1.63-11.9) and use of steroids (AOR: 4.60; 95% CI 1.24-17.05) were independently associated with risk of bacterial infections. These findings have implications for antibiotic stewardship as antibiotics can be reserved for those at higher risk for bacterial superinfections.