[Background: Frequent use of antibiotics in patients with COVID-19 threatens to exacerbate antimicrobial resistance. We aimed to establish the prevalence and predictors of bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance in patients with COVID-19. Methods: We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of bacterial co-infections (identified within ≤48 h of presentation) and secondary infections (>48 h after presentation) in outpatients or hospitalised patients with COVID-19. We searched the WHO COVID-19 Research Database to identify cohort studies, case series, case-control trials, and randomised controlled trials with populations of at least 50 patients published in any language between Jan 1, 2019, and Dec 1, 2021. Reviews, editorials, letters, pre-prints, and conference proceedings were excluded, as were studies in which bacterial infection was not microbiologically confirmed (or confirmed via nasopharyngeal swab only). We screened titles and abstracts of papers identified by our search, and then assessed the full text of potentially relevant articles. We reported the pooled prevalence of bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance by doing a random-effects meta-analysis and meta-regression. Our primary outcomes were the prevalence of bacterial co-infection and secondary infection, and the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens among patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and bacterial infections. The study protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021297344). Findings: We included 148 studies of 362  976 patients, which were done between December, 2019, and May, 2021. The prevalence of bacterial co-infection was 5·3% (95% CI 3·8–7·4), whereas the prevalence of secondary bacterial infection was 18·4% (14·0–23·7). 42 (28%) studies included comprehensive data for the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among bacterial infections. Among people with bacterial infections, the proportion of infections that were resistant to antimicrobials was 60·8% (95% CI 38·6–79·3), and the proportion of isolates that were resistant was 37·5% (26·9–49·5). Heterogeneity in the reported prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in organisms was substantial (I2=95%). Interpretation: Although infrequently assessed, antimicrobial resistance is highly prevalent in patients with COVID-19 and bacterial infections. Future research and surveillance assessing the effect of COVID-19 on antimicrobial resistance at the patient and population level are urgently needed]

Fuente: The Lancet Microbe Home