Candida Auris Infection: Deadly, Multi-drug Resistant Fungus Caused Outbreaks In The United States

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Mar 15, 2017 07:35 AM EDT

Candida Auris infection is reportedly causing severe illness to patients. Health authorities of the United States raised awareness towards this deadly yeast, which can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.

Candida Auris can survive for months on skin leading to massive bloodstream infections, and it’s transmissible, PerfScience reported. After weeks of exposure, the yeast's remnants could also be detected on bed rails, chairs, and hospital equipment.

The first case of this fungal infection was reported from a patient with an ear infection in Japan. Other cases of Candida Auris infection were also documented in South Korea, Kenya, United Kingdom, India, Colombia, Kuwait, and Israel.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Candida Auris is isolated from respiratory and urine specimens. It was, likewise, tested and proven to cause infections in the bloodstream, wound, and ear. The institution reinforced warnings about this yeast infection, which often resistant to commonly used antifungal drugs causing it difficult to treat.

High risk of Candida Auris infection is found among patients who were confined in an intensive care unit for a long time. It also includes patients having a central venous catheter situated in their large vein, and have previously undergone antibiotics or antifungal treatment. These risk factors are similar to other forms of Candida infection.

Accurate identification of Candida Auris requires specialized laboratory procedures. Ordinary laboratory techniques could prompt misidentification and incorrect treatment causing an uncontrollable spread of the infection in healthcare institutions. As a result, CDC signals the United States clinicians to be vigilant for the disease among their patients.

The highest record of Candida Auris infection was reported in New York, as per the data gathered by CDC. Out of 35 cases in the United States, 28 of it were noted from the health facilities in New York.

Most Candida Auris infections can be cured with a type of antifungal drugs called echinocandins. However, some strains of the species are resistant to all three major antifungal drugs. Almost 60 percent of the patients infected with the fungi die. Nevertheless, these patients might also be suffering from other serious disorders.

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