Candida Auris

Candida species are medically important fungi. These fungi reside on the skin, mucosa and gastrointestinal tract of 30 to 50% of healthy individuals at any given time, with everyone being colonized at a certain moment of his/her lifetime. Although they are not pathogenic under normal host conditions, they can cause severe mucosal or systemic infections when host defense is compromised, especially in immunocompromised hosts. However, not all individuals at risk develop Candida infections.

Candida auris is a bloodstream pathogenic ascomycetous yeast resistant to fluconazole and other antifungal drugs. This is is concerning because fluconazole is frequently the first-line treatment for invasive Candida infections in many countries. Candida auris causes a wide variety of hospital associated infections (99,000 deaths a year just in the US), ranging from fungal blood poisoning to deep-seated infections with high mortality rates (66 %). It is often misidentified by commercial identification systems which may lead to incorrect treatment or delay of proper treatment, thereby increasing the chances of death.

CDC report that patients were colonized with C. auris on their skin and other body sites weeks to months after their initial infection, which can present opportunities for contamination of the health care environment and transmission from hospital staff to patients.

Fluconazole-resistant Candida Fluconazole-resistant Candida Source: CDC/ James Archer

References

  1. Draft genome of a commonly misdiagnosed multidrug resistant pathogen Candida auris Sharanya Chatterjee,# Shuba Varshini Alampalli,# Rishi Kumar Nageshan, Sivarajan T. Chettiar, Sangeeta Joshi, and Utpal S. Tatu corresponding author BMC Genomics. 2015; 16(1): 686.
  2. Whole genome sequencing of emerging multidrug resistant Candida auris isolates in India demonstrates low genetic variation C. Sharma, N. Kumar, R. Pandey, J.F. Meis, A. Chowdhary New Microbes New Infect. 2016 Sep; 13: 77–82.
  3. Investigation of the First Seven Reported Cases of Candida auris, a Globally Emerging Invasive, Multidrug-Resistant Fungus — United States, May 2013–August 2016 Early Release / November 4, 2016 / 65

 

 

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