By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Chilean officials report five cases of pulmonary aspergillosis, an infection associated with the coronavirus that would affect patients who were connected to mechanical ventilation.

Aspergillus fumigatus/CDC

Previously, in India and Uruguay there had been cases of patients who were diagnosed with the ‘black fungus’ , a pulmonary mucormycosis caused by different types of molds of the order mucorales, presented mainly in people who were overcoming covid-19.

The study by the Center for Diagnosis and Research of Infectious Diseases of the University of Valparaíso (CDIEI-UV) accounts for a clinical investigation carried out between July and September 2020. Since then to date, the CDIEI-UV has diagnosed more cases, reporting at least seven more. That is, it would be a dozen cases so far, of which five have been ratified in the study period.

“In Chile, until now, there are no reports of this particular disease linked to SARS-CoV-2, but there are reports of another with very similar characteristics and prognoses: pulmonary aspergillosis associated with coronavirus or CAPA, also caused by a fungus (Aspergillus fumigatus), which in this case is green, ”says the investigation.

The director of the Center for Diagnosis and Research of Infectious Diseases of the University of Valparaíso, Rodrigo Cruz, explained to T13 that “since it is a disease whose notification is not mandatory, the exact number of cases is unknown. But so far only what our study indicates has been reported ”.

“In the case of people with COVID-19, ‘green fungus’ infection is diagnosed through cultures or by detecting the antigen (galactomannan) it releases. It mainly occurs in the lungs and in patients who have been connected to mechanical ventilation for several weeks and undergoing corticosteroid treatment ”, he adds.

Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a type of mold (fungus). The diseases that derive from this infection generally affect the respiratory system, but the signs and severity vary greatly.

Aspergillus mold, which triggers disease, is everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Most strains of this mold are harmless, but a few can cause serious illness when people with weakened immune systems, underlying lung disease or asthma inhale their fungal spores, according to the Mayo Clinic site .