Candida auris Questions and Answers
Posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
“Healthcare facilities in several countries have reported that a type of yeast called Candida auris has been causing severe illness in hospitalized patients. In some patients, this yeast can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, causing serious invasive infections. This yeast often does not respond to commonly used antifungal drugs, making infections difficult to treat. Patients who have been in the intensive care unit for a long time or have a central venous catheter placed in a large vein, and have previously received antibiotics or antifungal medications, appear to be at highest risk of infection with this yeast.
Specialized laboratory methods are needed to accurately identify C. auris. Conventional lab techniques could lead to misidentification and inappropriate treatment, making it difficult to control the spread of C. auris in healthcare settings.
Because of these factors, CDC is alerting U.S. healthcare facilities to be on the lookout for C. auris in their patients.
Why is CDC concerned about C. auris infections?
CDC is concerned about C. auris for three main reasons:
- It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to most 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 treatment.
- It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, rapid identification of C. auris in a hospitalized patient is particularly important so that hospitals can take special precautions to stop its spread.”