5 things to know about C. auris in 2023

The CDC has recently called attention to the growing threat posed by Candida auris, a drug-resistant fungus that spreads rapidly in healthcare facilities and can cause severe illness among immunocompromised people. 

C. auris is generally not a threat to healthy individuals but poses significant risk to "people who are very sick, have invasive medical devices, or have long or frequent stays in healthcare facilities," according to the CDC, which has deemed the fungus an "urgent antimicrobial resistance threat" due to its resistance to multiple antifungal treatments, ability to spread quickly and cause severe infections. 

Five things to know from recent studies and reports: 

1. Clinical cases of C. auris, meaning infection is present, grew 95 percent from 2020 to 2021, according to new findings published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Overall, 3,270 infections were reported in the U.S. from 2016 — when the first clinical case was reported — through 2021.

2. The same study found there were 7,413 screening cases, situations where the fungus is detected but does not lead to infection, from 2016 to 2021. Additionally, the number of cases that were resistant to antifungal drugs tripled from 2019 to 2021.

3. Since November, at least 12 people in Mississippi have been infected with C. auris, with four deaths possibly linked to the cluster of infections, according to a March 20 report from NBC News. The state's health department has been monitoring transmission at two long-term care facilities. In the last year, clusters of C. auris infections have also been reported in a Detroit specialty hospital and a Nevada hospital.

4. Recent findings related to C. auris underscore larger challenges and issues surrounding hospitals' infection control efforts, experts told The Washington Post in a March 21 report. Health experts said staffing and financial challenges have made infection control standards more difficult to stick to. "That is why we continue to advocate for needed financial support to hospitals and for supportive workforce resources and policies across all levels of government," Akin Demehin, senior director of policy at the American Hospital Association, told the news outlet

5. The CDC recommends five drugs to treat infections from the fungus: anidulafungin, caspofungin, micafungin and, in some cases, liposomal amphotericin B and amphotericin B deoxycholate.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars