Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is increasingly recognized as a life-threatening superinfection of severe respiratory viral infections, such as influenza. The pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to emerging SARS-CoV-2 rose concern about the eventuality of IPA complicating COVID-19 in intensive care unit patients. A variable incidence of such complication has been reported, which can be partly attributed to differences in diagnostic strategy and IPA definitions, and possibly local environmental/epidemiological factors. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (IAPA) and COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA). Compared to IAPA, the majority of CAPA cases have been classified as putative rather than proven/probable IPA. Distinct physiopathology of influenza and COVID-19 may explain these discrepancies. Whether CAPA represents a distinct entity is still debatable and many questions remain unanswered, such as its actual incidence, the predisposing role of corticosteroids or immunomodulatory drugs, and the indications for antifungal therapy.
Keywords: Aspergillus fumigates; SARS-CoV-2; acute respiratory distress syndrome; corticosteroids; flu; intensive care unit; mechanical ventilation; pneumonia.
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