Rhino-orbital-cerebral-mucormycosis in COVID-19: A systematic review

Indian J Pharmacol. 2021 Jul-Aug;53(4):317-327. doi: 10.4103/ijp.ijp_419_21.


Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, parallel opportunistic infections have also been emerging as another disease spectrum. Among all these opportunistic infection, mucormycosis has become a matter of concern with its rapid increase of cases with rapid spread as compared to pre-COVID-19 era. Cases have been reported in post-COVID-19-related immune suppression along with the presence of comorbidity which adds on the deadly outcome. There is no systematic review addressing the issue of COVID-19-associated mucormycosis. This is the first systematic review of published studies of mucormycosis associated with COVID-19. The aim was to analyze the real scenario of the disease statement including all the published studies from first November 2019 to 30th June to analyze the contemporary epidemiology, clinical manifestations, risk factor, prognosis, and treatment outcome of COVID-19 associated rhino-orbito-cerebral-mucormycosis. A comprehensive literature search was done in following databases, namely, PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and EMBASE using keywords mucormycosis, rhino orbital cerebral mucormycosis, COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 (from November 01, 2019 to June 30, 2021). Our study shows that, while corticosteroids have proved to be lifesaving in severe to critical COVID-19 patients, its indiscriminate use has come with its price of rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis epidemic, especially in India especially in patients with preexisting diabetes mellitus with higher mortality. Corticosteroid use should be monitored and all COVID-19 patients should be closely evaluated/monitored for sequelae of immunosuppression following treatment.

Keywords: COVID-19; Corticosteroid; diabetes; fungal co infection; mucormycosis; rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis; supplemental oxygen.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / virology*
  • Coinfection*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Meningitis, Fungal / immunology
  • Meningitis, Fungal / microbiology*
  • Meningitis, Fungal / mortality
  • Mucormycosis / drug therapy
  • Mucormycosis / immunology
  • Mucormycosis / microbiology*
  • Mucormycosis / mortality
  • Nose Diseases / drug therapy
  • Nose Diseases / immunology
  • Nose Diseases / microbiology*
  • Nose Diseases / mortality
  • Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • Opportunistic Infections / immunology
  • Opportunistic Infections / microbiology*
  • Opportunistic Infections / mortality
  • Orbital Diseases / drug therapy
  • Orbital Diseases / immunology
  • Orbital Diseases / microbiology*
  • Orbital Diseases / mortality
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity*


  • Antifungal Agents