Impact of respiratory bacterial infections on mortality in Japanese patients with COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study

The Japan COVID-19 Task Force

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although cases of respiratory bacterial infections associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have often been reported, their impact on the clinical course remains unclear. Herein, we evaluated and analyzed the complication rates of bacterial infections, causative organisms, patient backgrounds, and clinical outcome in Japanese patients with COVID-19. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study that included inpatients with COVID-19 from multiple centers participating in the Japan COVID-19 Taskforce (April 2020 to May 2021) and obtained demographic, epidemiological, and microbiological results and the clinical course and analyzed the cases of COVID-19 complicated by respiratory bacterial infections. Results: Of the 1,863 patients with COVID-19 included in the analysis, 140 (7.5%) had respiratory bacterial infections. Community-acquired co-infection at COVID-19 diagnosis was uncommon (55/1,863, 3.0%) and was mainly caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Hospital-acquired bacterial secondary infections, mostly caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, were diagnosed in 86 patients (4.6%). Severity-associated comorbidities were frequently observed in hospital-acquired secondary infection cases, including hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. The study results suggest that the neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (> 5.28) may be useful in diagnosing complications of respiratory bacterial infections. COVID-19 patients with community-acquired or hospital-acquired secondary infections had significantly increased mortality. Conclusions: Respiratory bacterial co-infections and secondary infections are uncommon in patients with COVID-19 but may worsen outcomes. Assessment of bacterial complications is important in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and the study findings are meaningful for the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents and management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
JournalBMC pulmonary medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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