Candida Auris: A Candida Fungus That Often Does Not Respond To Antifungal Drugs

Healthcare officials in several countries have noticed Candida Auris, a candida fungus that causes severe illness in hospitalized patients. This candida fungus can enter the bloodstream and spread all over the body, causing severe invasive infections, affecting the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body.  

Candida Auris often does not respond to commonly used antifungal medicines, making it difficult to treat. Such candida fungus usually look for time for patients hospitalized for

  • A longer period of time
  • Have a central venous catheter, or
  • Other tubes entering the body, or
  • Who have previously taken antibiotics or antifungal medications

People with the above conditions are at a higher risk of getting infected with candida fungus(Candida Auris).

What makes Candida Auris more severe is the difficulty of identifying it. Specialized laboratory methods are required to identify Candida Auris accurately. However, using conventional laboratory techniques to identify Candida Auris can lead to misidentification and improper management and lead to uncontrolled Candida Auris.

Keeping these severe complications in mind, CDC is altering U.S healthcare facilities to detect Candida Auris among hospitalized patients.

Why Is Candida Auris A Problem?

Candida fungus outbreak has sought the attention of the Center For Disease Control And Prevention due to three major reasons, such as:-

  • Candida Auris is often multidrug-resistant. It means the fungus is resistant to the most commonly used antifungal medications that are commonly used to cure candida fungus. In fact, some strains are resistant to all the three available classes of antifungals.
  • It is someway difficult to identify Candida Auris as it requires specialized laboratory methods. It can be misidentified in labs without specific technology and may lead to inappropriate management.
  • Candida fungus outbreak occurred at places where people are treated. This is the most important concern; candida Auris often affects hospitalized patients admitted to getting themselves treated. Therefore, healthcare workers have to take special precautions to stop the virus from spreading.

The Center For Disease Control And Prevention has requested all local and public healthcare authorities to inform at [email protected] once they identify the fungus. 

There are some common fungal diseases that every individual should know as they occur unknowingly but can be treated easily once you get aware of them.

What Type Of Infections Does Candida Auris Cause?

Candida Auris causes infection related to the bloodstream, wound, and ear. The infection has been found isolated from respiratory and urine samples, but it is still unclear about the fungus causing infection in the lungs or bladder.

How Is Candida Auris Identified?

Like other candida fungi, candida Auris is usually diagnosed by blood culture or other body fluids. However, Candida Auris is difficult to identify from cultures than other common types of Candida.

For better understanding, candid Auris can trick healthcare professionals, particularly with candida haemulonii. Therefore, special laboratory tests are needed to detect Candida Auris. If you need more information regarding the fungus, refer to the recommendations for laboratorians and health professionals

Who Is Primarily At Risk For A Candida Auris Infection?

  • People who had recently been hospitalized or spent time in nursing homes or hospitals.
  • People undergoing treatment where tubes or catheters are inserted into the body for breathing, feeding, or transferring blood seem to be at a higher risk.
  • Risk factors associated with other candida infections, such as recent surgery, diabetes, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, and antifungals, may also increase the risk of Candida Auris.

The infection has been found in patients of all ages; from preterm infants to elders. However, more studies are needed to be done to come up with more precise risk factors for Candida Auris.

How Was Candida Auris First Detected?

The earliest known strain of Candida was found in the year 1996 in South Korea. But the Candida Auris was first identified in the year 2009 in Japan.  Candida Auris is considered an emerging pathogen because of the rapidly increasing number of cases due to Candida Auris. As the infection has been identified in multiple other countries from the time of the outbreak. 

As of now, candida Auris has been reported in more than 30 countries, including the United States. However, Candida Auris needs special laboratory methods for its identification. Therefore many countries have not been identified or reported cases of Candida Auris.

Also Read: Athlete’s Foot: A Fungal Skin Disease

How Does Candida Auris Spread Globally?

The Center For Disease Control And Prevention(CDC) conducted whole-genome sequencing of Candida Auris specimens from countries in Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, Southern Africa, and South America. The whole-genome sequence helped the healthcare professionals to find out the detailed DNA fingerprints of organisms.

As per the CDC, isolates within each region seem to be similar to one another but are relatively different across regions. These differences may be the cause of candida Auris emergence independently and approximately at the same time interval. 

What Kills Candida Auris?

A class of antifungal medicine, echinocandins, helps in treating candida Auris. Although some candida infections are resistant to echinocandins and the three main classes of antifungal medications but thats not the case with Candida Auris. 

In such conditions, multiple classes of antifungals at high doses may be required to treat the infection. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with the doctor first for treating such a fungal infection.

Can You Die From Candida Auris? 

Yes, invasive infections that are caused by candida species can be fatal. However, as there are limited studies available, it is unclear if people with Candida Auris infection may die as compared to patients with other candida infections.

On the basis of limited information, (30-60)% of the people with candida Auris infection have died. However, these people also have severe illnesses that may also increase the risk of death.

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for CheapMedicineShop.com. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.