Covid-19-Associated Pulmonary Aspergillosis: The Other Side of the Coin

Vaccines (Basel). 2020 Dec 1;8(4):713. doi: 10.3390/vaccines8040713.


The immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a critical factor in the clinical presentation of COVID-19, which may range from asymptomatic to a fatal, multi-organ disease. A dysregulated immune response not only compromises the ability of the host to resolve the viral infection, but may also predispose the individual to secondary bacterial and fungal infections, a risk to which the current therapeutic immunomodulatory approaches significantly contribute. Among the secondary infections that may occur in COVID-19 patients, coronavirus-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) is emerging as a potential cause of morbidity and mortality, although many aspects of the disease still remain unresolved. With this opinion, we present the current view of CAPA and discuss how the same mechanisms that underlie the dysregulated immune response in COVID-19 increase susceptibility to Aspergillus infection. Likewise, resorting to endogenous pathways of immunomodulation may not only restore immune homeostasis in COVID-19 patients, but also reduce the risk for aspergillosis. Therefore, CAPA represents the other side of the coin in COVID-19 and our advances in the understanding and treatment of the immune response in COVID-19 should represent the framework for the study of CAPA.

Keywords: Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor; Aspergillus; COVID-19; anakinra; thymosin alpha 1.

Publication types

  • Review