Role of Zinc and Clinicopathological Factors for COVID-19-Associated Mucormycosis (CAM) in a Rural Hospital of Central India: A Case-Control Study
Sunil Kumar, Sourya Acharya, Shraddha Jain, Samarth Shukla, Dhruv Talwar, Divit Shah, Vidyashree Hulkoti, Sana Parveen, Mansi Patel, Sujal Patel
Introduction Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)has been a difficult enemy to beat for healthcare professionals around the world. However, even before the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an emergence of a new combatant in the form of opportunistic fungal infections with a high rate of morbidity and mortality, creating havoc throughout the globe.
Methods A case-control single-center study was conducted in Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra. All the subjects who were included in the study were tested positive for COVID-19 through the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method and the cases were defined as patients with biopsy-proven mucormycosis, whereas control were subjects who did not develop mucormycosis. The duration of the study was three months, from June 2021 to August 2021.
Result A total of 55 cases and 50 controls were enrolled in the study. The use of zinc was found to be significantly associated with COVID-19-associated mucormycosis, with 89.1% of the cases having a history of zinc intake and only 52% of controls having a history of zinc intake( p-value <0.001). Diabetes mellitus was found to be significantly associated with COVID-19-associated mucormycosis with 83.6% of the cases and 16% of the controls having diabetes mellitus (p-value <0.001). Although the use of steroids in cases was more with 98.2% of the cases and 54% of the control receiving steroids; this difference was not significant statistically (p-value of 1.00).
Conclusion We conclude that apart from diabetes mellitus and other immunosuppressive states, zinc might be the hidden culprit behind the sudden surge of COVID-19-associated mucormycosis worldwide owing to the selfadministration of zinc by the patients to acquire innate immunity and over-prescription of multivitamins by the treating clinicians. However, this association required further studies in order to be proved.
Additional Information Disclosures
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