COMPARISON OF INFLAMMATORY MARKERS AS PREDICTORS OF BLOOD STREAM INFECTIONS IN POSITIVE BLOOD CULTURES OF COVID-19 PATIENTS IN A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL
Objective: To determine the correlation of positive blood cultures in septicemic COVID-19 patients with significantly raised serum inflammatory markers C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase and lactate levels.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Microbiology, Pak Emirates Military Hospital (PEMH) Rawalpindi from Apr 2020 to Jun 2020.
Methodology: This study included specimens from 69 adult COVID-19 hospitalized patients with moderate to severe infection. Blood cultures of cases with suspected blood stream infections were processed. Positive blood cultures were compared with markedly raised inflammatory markers.
Results: From a of total 69 blood culture specimen, 36 (52.17%) showed bacterial growth whereas 33 (47.82%) had no bacterial growth. The values of serum C-reactive proteins were in moderate to severe range (≥10mg/l) for 33 (91.66%) out of 36 positive blood cultures. The Lactate dehydrogenase values for 34 (94.44%) out of 36 positive blood cultures were in moderate to severe range (≥300U/L). Serum lactate values for 30 (83.33%) out of 36 patients with positive blood cultures were in moderate to severe range (≥2.21mmol/l). This result was statistically significant.
Conclusion: Serum C-reactive proteins, Lactate dehydrogenase and lactate were markedly high in patients with blood stream infections in patients with COVID-19. These inflammatory markers can be used, not only as early predictors of secondary bacterial infections in COVID-19 patients, but can also help to formulate empirical treatment.