Monday, June 19, 2017

CDC Update: Candida Auris - June 2017


Just shy of a year ago (June 24th, 2016) the CDC issued a Clinical Alert to U.S. Healthcare facilities about the Global Emergence of Invasive Infections Caused by the Multidrug-Resistant Yeast Candida auris. 
C. auris - an emerging fungal pathogen  - was first isolated about 8 years ago in Japan, found in the discharge from the patient's external ear (hence the name `auris').  Retrospective analysis has traced this fungal infection back over 20 years.
A week later we saw a release from the UK's PHE On The Emergence Of Candida auris In The UK, where they detailed a large (and ongoing since April 2015) nosocomial outbreak at an adult critical care unit in England.
While still rare, we've seen an increasing number of cases (and hospital clusters) reported internationally, generally involving bloodstream infections, wound infections or otitis.
When you add in that:

  1. C. auris infections have a high fatality rate
  2. The strain appears to be resistant to multiple classes of anti-fungals  
  3. This strain is unusually persistent on fomites in healthcare environments.
  4. And it can be difficult for labs to differentiate it from other Candida strains
An you can understand why this emerging fungal pathogen is getting a lot of attention.

Last month, in MMWR: Ongoing Transmission of Candida auris in Health Care Facilities, we learned that the U.S. case count had jumped from 7 last summer, to 77 clinical cases, along with 45 `close contacts' of known cases who - while asymptomatic - were positive for C. auris isolated from one or more body sites.
The evidence is mounting that C. auris can spread easily within health care facilities and that it is a growing threat in the United States, and around the world.
On Friday, the CDC updated their C.auris surveillance page, where we learn that the number of U.S. clinical cases has risen to 86, and the number of C. auris colonized asymptomatic cases has increased to 70.

Candida auris
 Case Count Updated: June 16, 2017

Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. Healthcare facilities in several countries have reported that C. auris has caused severe illness in hospitalized patients. Some strains of Candida auris are resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drugs. This type of multidrug resistance has not been seen before in other species of Candida. Also of concern, C. auris can persist on surfaces in healthcare environments and spread between patients in healthcare facilities, unlike most other Candida species. CDC has developed Interim Recommendations to help prevent the spread of C. auris.

CDC encourages all U.S. laboratory staff who identify C. auris strains to notify their state or local public health authorities and CDC at

Candida auris cases in the United States

Download Data (csv)

Location represents the state of C. auris specimen collection. The case counts displayed reflect clinical cases of C. auris (i.e., based on specimens collected in the normal course of care). They do not include other patients who were tested for C. auris colonization but who did not have symptoms of disease. C. auris has been isolated from an additional 70 patients from healthcare facilities in 3 states where clinical cases were detected.  This map will be updated monthly.

(Continue . . . )

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