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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 142-149

Mucormycosis: An epidemic within a pandemic

1 Department of Ophthalmology, ABVIMS and Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Radio-diagnosis, ABVIMS and Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Microbiology, ABVIMS and Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Anesthesiology, ABVIMS and Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Shreya Gujral
Department of Ophthalmology, ABVIMS and Dr. RML Hospital, Baba Kharak Singh Road, New Delhi - 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcor.jcor_88_21

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There has been a steep rise in the incidence of mucormycosis in India during the second wave of COVID-19 infection. This outbreak has principally been attributed to uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and injudicious use of corticosteroids. However, many nondiabetics and those never on steroids have also suffered from this deadly disease recently. Thus, research is under the way to look for other offending factors. Mucormycosis is an opportunistic, potentially fatal, fungal infection caused by a group of saprophytic fungi belonging to family Mucoraceae. Rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis is the most common reported type. The fungi are angioinvasive in nature, leading to thrombosis and rapid tissue necrosis. It also shows neurotropism. We have conducted current literature review using the electronic database of PubMed and recent mycology books, to analyze the possible risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical features, and management protocol of mucormycosis, giving special emphasis on the Indian data. Medline search was supplemented by the personal communication with some researchers, since the problem is of recent origin and publications are still in progress. Our personal experience and current data declared by, or orders issued by union health ministry or state ministries have also been referred to. A high index of suspicion is essential for the early detection as the initial signs and symptoms might go unnoticed as they are nonspecific. The diagnosis requires the sample collection by nasal and sinus endoscopy, direct microscopic examination under potassium hydroxide (KOH), culture, imaging, and molecular tools. Histopathology and KOH mount are the cornerstones for the confirmation of diagnosis. A combination of aggressive medical therapy and surgical debridement can improve the survival. Amphotericin B continues to be the drug of choice.

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