The impact of COVID on bacterial sepsis

Sophia Dar, Daniel Erickson, Claudia Manca, Tara Lozy, Elena Shashkina, Milena Kordalewska, Jose R. Mediavilla, Liang Chen, Albert Rojtman, Barry N. Kreiswirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To identify the predictors of morbidity and mortality in matched COVID-19 positive and negative patients who were septic with Gram positive or Gram negative infections. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review, from March to October 2020, of matched septic patients at five Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals who had bacteremia with Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae or Escherichia coli with and without COVID-19. We extracted patient demographics, comorbidities and clinical outcomes data using ICD-10 codes. Bacterial isolates were compared by whole genome sequencing analysis. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze independent predictors of morbidity and mortality. Results: A total of 208 patients were grouped by positive bloodstream infection (BSI) with COVID-19 (n = 104) and without COVID-19 (n = 104). Most patients were over age 50 (90% vs. 89%) and Caucasian (78% vs. 86%). Inpatient mortality was higher in patients with COVID-19 for both GP (35% vs. 8%, p < 0.05) and GN (28% vs. 10%, p < 0.05) BSIs. Patients with Gram positive (GP) BSIs had a significant increase in mortality risk (OR 4.5, CI 1.4–14.5, p < 0.05) in contrast to those with Gram negative (GN) infections (OR 0.4, CI 0.4–4.0, p = 0.4). Conclusion: Concurrent COVID-19 infection is associated with a significant increase in morbidity and mortality in patients with GP and GN BSIs. Patients with S. aureus BSIs with COVID-19 are more likely to develop shock and respiratory failure and have higher rates and odds of mortality than those without COVID-19. These findings provide an essential insight into the care of these patients, especially those co-infected with Staphylococcus aureus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Bacteremia
  • COVID-19
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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