About the COVID-19–Associated Fungal Infections Educational Initiative

Patients with COVID-19 who require mechanical ventilation are at increased risk for developing COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) or other other COVID-19-associated invasive fungal infections (CA-IFIs). These IFIs are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Certain patient groups—including medically underserved populations—are overrepresented in the mechanically ventilated population and thus are particularly vulnerable to these fungal infections.

The goal of this initiative is to educate clinicians to recognize the risk for IFIs in patients with COVID-19 and appropriately diagnose and treat those IFIs when they occur. Specifically, we will use a variety of educational interventions to enable these health care providers (HCPs) to

  • Identify patients with COVID-19 who are at risk for CAPA and other CA-IFIs
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms suggestive of development of CAPA or CA-IFIs
  • Perform appropriate diagnostic tests for CAPA and CA-IFIs
  • Decide on timing and make appropriate selection of antifungal therapy
  • Optimize the pharmacologic aspects of therapy, including minimizing or addressing drug-drug interactions
  • Apply sound principles of antimicrobial stewardship and infection control/prevention procedures in the process
  • Recognize healthcare disparities leading to increased incidence of CAPA and CA-IFIs in underserved populations with COVID-19. Where possible, implement strategies to address these disparities
  • Educate patients and caregivers about CAPA and CA-IFIs. This will be facilitated by patient video vignettes and educational materials

 Origin of the Initiative

This educational initiative was funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-RFA-CK20-2003) to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is collaborating with the Mycoses Study Group Education & Research Consortium and Terranova Medica, LLC, on this initiative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this resource center do not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.