Incidence, risk factors and mortality of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with influenza: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Mycoses. 2022 Feb;65(2):152-163. doi: 10.1111/myc.13410. Epub 2021 Dec 22.


Background: An increasing number of cases of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) complicating influenza have been described. We performed a meta-analysis to estimate the incidence, risk factors and outcomes of IPA in patients with influenza.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted in the PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases from their inception to 31 August 2021 for eligible studies. Data on the incidence and risk factors of and mortality due to IPA in influenza patients were pooled using a random-effects model. Sensitivity analyses restricted to severe influenza requiring intensive care unit (ICU) support and multiple subgroup analyses were performed.

Results: Fourteen studies involving 6024 hospitalised patients with influenza were included. IPA was estimated to occur in 10% of influenza patients, with a mortality rate of 52%. Similar incidence (11%) and mortality (54%) estimates for IPA were observed in the sensitivity analysis including severe cases requiring ICU support. Subgroup analysis by geographical location showed a similar IPA rate between European (10%) and non-European (11%) studies. The IPA rate in the subset of nine studies using the modified AspICU criteria was 13%. Most subgroup analyses showed ≥50% mortality in IPA patients. Several predictors for IPA susceptibility were identified, including male sex, smoking history, chronic lung disease, influenza A (H1N1), severe conditions requiring supportive therapy, corticosteroid use before admission, solid organ transplant and haematological malignancy.

Conclusions: The IPA is common in individuals with severe influenza, and the prognosis is particularly poor. Influenza patients, especially those with high-risk factors, should be thoroughly screened for IPA.

Keywords: incidence; influenza; invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; meta-analysis; mortality; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
  • Influenza, Human* / epidemiology
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / epidemiology
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors