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Clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 patients with concomitant herpesvirus co-infection or reactivation: A systematic review


Senior Member



Since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Wuhan, China in late 2019, concomitant infections with Herpesviridae were documented that were presented from simple skin manifestations to severe life-threatening conditions that may lead to mortality. In this systematic review, we have included studies conducted in different parts of the world to find out the association of clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 infection and concomitant Herpesviridae infection.


A comprehensive search was conducted in electronic databases including Medline through PubMed, Cochrane database, Scopus and Web of science (core collection). Two review authors independently screened the articles and extracted data. The Risk of bias assessment was done by using RoBANS tool.


A total of 919 studies were retrieved and 19 studies were included having data of 539 patients who were infected with both COVID-19 and Herpesviridae. Herpes Simplex-1, Varicella Zoster, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and Human Herpes Virus-6 were the detected viruses in the included studies. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation was the most detected concomitant infection. In case of reactivation with more than one Herpes virus mortality among patients were detected along with single viral infection in some studies. Significant association was noted in dosage and usage of steroid and Herpesviridae reactivation in COVID-19 patients. Blood markers such as D-dimer, CRP along with length of stay in the ICU and usage of invasive mechanical ventilation were found to be the significantly associated markers.


Findings from this study will aid clinicians to assess and treat COVID-19 cases with co-infections.