Microbial coinfections can increase the morbidity and mortality rates of viral respiratory diseases. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the pooled prevalence of fungal coinfections in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Web of Science, Medline, Scopus, and Embase were searched without language restrictions to identify the related research on COVID-19 patients with fungal coinfections from December 1, 2019, to December 30, 2020. A random-effects model was used for analysis. The sample size included 2,246 patients from 8 studies. The pooled prevalence of fungal coinfections was 12.60%. The frequency of fungal subtype coinfections was 3.71% for Aspergillus, 2.39% for Candida, and 0.39% for other. The World Health Organization's Regional Office for Europe and Regional Office for Southeast Asia had the highest (23.28%) and lowest (4.53%) estimated prevalence of fungal coinfection, respectively. Our findings showed a high prevalence of fungal coinfections in COVID-19 cases, which is a likely contributor to mortality in COVID-19 patients. Early identification of fungal pathogens in the laboratory for COVID-19 patients can lead to timely treatment and prevention of further damage by this hidden infection.
Keywords: COVID-19; Coinfection; Coronavirus; Fungi; Meta-analysis.