Candida Auris Presents Global Health Threat

4/24/2019

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting that Candida auris, an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat, is causing severe illness in hospitalized patients in several countries, including the United States. Patients can remain colonized with C. auris for a long time and C. auris can persist on surfaces in health care environments. This can result in the spread of C. auris between patients in health care facilities.

Most C. auris cases in the United States have been detected in the New York City area, New Jersey, and the Chicago area. Strains of C. auris in the United States have been linked to other parts of the world.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 600 cases of C. auris have been reported in the United States. Nearly half of those with the illness have died within 90 days. They are encouraging all US laboratories that identify C. auris to notify their state or local public health authorities and CDC at candidaauris@cdc.gov.

Dr. Tom Chiller, Chief of the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch said, “Yeasts generally are not things we worry about getting highly infectious or highly resistant. In this case this new emerging yeast is just that. It is highly infectious, and it is highly resistant.”1

CLSI’s Subcommittee on Antifungal Susceptibility Testing collaborates to develop standards and guidelines that promote accurate antifungal susceptibility testing and appropriate reporting. Individuals from microbiology laboratories, government agencies, health care, and education work together to pool knowledge and expertise. CLSI has a longstanding globally trusted reputation for its diligent development of Microbiology and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST) standards and guidelines on test methods and QC procedures. Additionally, CLSI annually creates and revises AST breakpoints to meet global public health challenges related to antimicrobial resistance. CLSI’s library of microbiology standards and guidelines establish vital performance criteria and best practice guidelines for use in the clinical microbiology laboratory field. Learn more about our antifungal testing standards here.

Reference

1. Johnson, Joshua, host. “Candida Auris: The Deadly Fungus Among Us.” 1A, NPR, 23 Apr. 2019. https://the1a.org/audio/#/shows/2019-04-23/candida-auris-the-deadly-fungus-among-us/117516/@00:00

 

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