Candida auris is a newly emerging drug-resistant fungus that has led to infections in healthcare facilities worldwide.
Candida auris (C. auris) is a fungus that is resistant to common antifungal drugs. It may lead to severe infection in hospitalized people.
C. auris mostly affects individuals who:
- have a severe illness
- are frequently in healthcare facilities
- frequently use antibiotics
This article looks at what C. auris is, which drugs it is resistant to, prevention, and the outlook for people who get the infection.
C. auris is a type of fungus or yeast that is a newly emerging health concern. It is multidrug-resistant, meaning it is resistant to many antifungal drugs that usually treat fungal infections.
The fungus first became apparent to researchers in 2009 and has since been causing outbreaks in healthcare settings worldwide.
C. auris can cause severe infections in hospitalized people, and in some cases, it can be life threatening.
C. auris is
The fungus is also difficult to identify. Regular laboratory methods are not always effective at identifying C. auris, which can lead to misidentification, making it more difficult to manage and treat.
Outbreaks of this fungus
C. auris can live on human skin for long periods and on surfaces for several weeks. It can also survive some common disinfectants within healthcare settings. This means the fungus can pass easily from person to person or through touching contaminated surfaces.
People who may have the
- long-term hospitalization or stays in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes
- breathing or feeding tubes, central venous catheters, or other tubes and lines going into their body
- a recent surgery
- experience of taking broad-spectrum antibiotic and antifungal medications
Symptoms of infection with C. auris may vary depending on the area of the infection, such as the ear, a wound, or the bloodstream.
According to the
The most common symptoms of a C. auris infection are fever and chills that do not get better with antibiotic treatment.
There are currently three main drug classes of antifungals, which healthcare professionals use to treat fungal infections:
- azoles, such as fluconazole
- polyenes, such as amphotericin B
- echinocandins, such as anidulafungin
According to a
This means echinocandins are usually the first-line treatment for invasive Candida infections, including C. auris.
The report also notes researchers have identified some strains of C. auris that are pan-resistant, meaning they are resistant to all three classes of antifungal drugs.
Currently, the only way to diagnose a C. auris infection is through laboratory testing of blood or other body fluids.
However, it is difficult to detect this fungus in a laboratory with standard equipment, so laboratories require
Invasive Candida infections are
According to a
Invasive infections of C. auris can be life threatening. It is unclear yet whether invasive infections of this fungus are more likely to be fatal compared with other types of invasive Candida infections.
According to data involving a small number of people with C. auris infections,
Within healthcare settings, C. auris can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or from person to person.
- maintain good hand hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- placing people with C. auris in the same section of the healthcare facility or in single rooms
- thorough, daily cleaning with disinfection of surfaces, rooms, and equipment in healthcare settings
- maintain good hand hygiene, which includes regularly washing the hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- if caring for a person with C. auris, use disposable gloves if carrying out wound care or coming into contact with bodily fluids
- before entering a healthcare facility, a person should inform healthcare providers if they have come into contact with someone with a C. auris infection
According to the
In most cases, doctors can treat this fungal infection with echinocandins, a type of antifungal drug that strains of C. auris
If the strain of C. auris is resistant to all types of antifungals, doctors
C. auris infections are
C. auris is a fungus that has recently become more common in healthcare settings. It can survive on the skin and surfaces for long periods, meaning it can spread easily within healthcare facilities.
C. auris can lead to invasive infections, affecting areas of the body such as the bloodstream, brain, or heart. These infections may be life threatening in hospitalized people who have existing serious health conditions.
In most cases, antifungal drugs, in particular echinocandins, can still treat C. auris infections. For highly resistant strains of the fungus, people may require treatment with high doses of multiple antifungals.