A rare fungus on the rise: Candida auris

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Abstract

Purpose

An overview of the growing health threat posed by the fungus Candida auris is provided, including a review of the literature and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on C. auris identification, treatment, and infection control.

Summary

Since C. auris was first identified in Japan in 2009, cases of C. auris infection have been on the rise in several parts of the world, including the United States, where the first case was reported in 2017; as of November 2017, a total of 206 U.S. cases in 10 states had been reported. Risk factors for C. auris infection have been difficult to identify. However, catheterization, hospitalization, and recent surgery appear to be common factors in patients with C. auris infection. Major challenges in the management of C. auris infections include the common misidentification of C. auris using conventional laboratory techniques and the pathogen's resistance profile, which includes resistance to commonly used antifungals. These challenges may lead to breakdowns in timely implementation of infection-control and prevention measures. Antimicrobial stewardship can play a key role in the management and prevention of C. auris infections.

Conclusion

C. auris is an emerging fungus that has the potential for causing serious invasive infections. The organism is resistant to commonly used antifungals and is difficult to identify with conventional laboratory techniques. Echinocandins are currently recommended as initial therapy for the treatment of C. auris infections in adults and children at least 2 months of age.

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