3 things to know about transmission of superbug C. auris in the US

A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases examined transmission of the Candida auris infection reported in the U.S. and found evidence suggesting it was introduced into the country several times.

Researchers used whole-genome sequencing to study the genetic similarity between C. auris isolates collected from patients in 10 U.S. states and those identified in other countries: Colombia, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea and Venezuela. The states included were California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma. They also integrated data from standardized case report forms and contact investigations, including travel history and epidemiological links.

They collected isolates that corresponded to 133 cases between May 11, 2013, and Aug. 31, 2017.

Here are three findings:

1. Of 73 clinical cases, 90 percent involved isolates related to south Asian isolates, 7 percent related to South American isolates, 1 percent to African isolates and 1 percent to east Asian isolates. This points to the idea C. auris was introduced into the U.S. more than once.

2. Eighty-two percent of clinical cases were identified in New York and New Jersey.

3. Genetic diversity among isolates from the same patients, healthcare facilities and states indicate there is local and ongoing transmission.

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