Not quite two years ago (June 2016) the CDC issued a Clinical Alert to U.S. Health care facilities about the Global Emergence of Invasive Infections Caused by the Multidrug-Resistant Yeast Candida auris.
C. auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that was first isolated in Japan in 2009. It was initially found in the discharge from a patient’s external ear (hence the name `auris’). Retrospective analysis has traced this fungal infection back over 20 years.
Since then the CDC and public health entities have been monitoring an increasing number of cases (and hospital clusters) in the United States and abroad, generally involving bloodstream infections, wound infections or otitis.
Adding to the concern:
- C. auris infections have a high fatality rate
- The strain appears to be resistant to multiple classes of anti-fungals
- This strain is unusually persistent on fomites in healthcare environments.
- And it can be difficult for labs to differentiate it from other Candida strains
The CDC has updated their C. Auris surveillance page, where they show – as of April 30th – 279 confirmed cases and 29 probable cases, across 11 states. An increase of more than 10% over the previous month.
Additionally, based on targeted screening in four states reporting clinical cases, the CDC reports an additional 517 patients have been discovered to be asymptomatically colonized with C. auris.
As previously mentioned, this isn’t just a United States’ problem, but a global health threat. This fungal infection, which was first detected in Japan in 2009, has now turned up on multiple continents.
- In last month’s update we looked at a CDC’s MMWR report on C. Auris in South America, illustrating how easily this fungal infection can fly under the surveillance radar (see Notes from the Field: Surveillance for Candida auris — Colombia, September 2016–May 2017).
- Since then, we’ve also looked at ECDC: C. Auris Rapid Risk Assessment For Healthcare Settings – Europe, where at least 620 cases of infection or colonization have now been identified in 7 EU nations.
For more on this emerging fungal pathogen, you may wish peruse the CDC’s dedicated web page:
And for some older blogs on the topic, you may wish to revisit: