C. auris is a mysterious and dangerous fungal infection that is among a growing number of germs that have evolved defenses against common medicines. According to New York Times a mysterious and dangerous fungal infection called Candida auris has emerged around the world. It is resistant to many antifungal medications, placing it among a growing number of germs that have evolved defenses against common medicines.
C. auris has caused bloodstream infections, wound infections, and ear infections. It also has been isolated from respiratory and urine specimens, but it is unclear if it causes infections in the lung or bladder.
C. auris was first identified in 2009 in Japan. Retrospective review of Candida strain collections found that the earliest known strain of C. auris dates to 1996 in South Korea. CDC considers C. auris an emerging pathogen because increasing numbers of infections have been identified in multiple countries since it was recognized.
C. auris is often resistant to major antifungal drugs that are typically used to treat such infections. The C.D.C. says that more than 90 percent of C. auris infections are resistant to at least one such drug, while 30 percent are resistant to two or more major drugs. Once the germ is present, it is hard to eradicate from a facility. Some hospitals have had to bring in special cleaning equipment and even rip out floor and ceiling tiles to get rid of it.
CDC is concerned about C. auris for three main reasons:
- It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
- It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
- It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.
Source: CDC, nytimes.com