Candida auris: An urgent threat now close to home
The invasive fungal pathogen Candida auris is a serious global health threat due to its innate and acquired resistance to antifungal drugs.
Not only does C. auris resist many standard antifungal treatments, it is highly stable in the environment, persisting for weeks or months, and can be misidentified as other types of fungi — both of which contribute to spread through health care facilities.
When first identified in the United States in 2013, Candida auris was initially limited to New York City and Chicago. Since then, cases have increased at an alarming rate and are now reported in more than half of the states. The first Oregon cases were reported in December 2021, and a recent outbreak of three more cases in March are cause for concern.
C. auris is associated with significant illness and death in vulnerable patients, including those who are immunocompromised, have received invasive devices such as central lines, or have a history of broad-spectrum antibiotic or antifungal use.
Patients with suspected or confirmed C. auris infection should be placed into contact precautions. Providers are strongly encouraged to consult with an APP infectious disease specialist when caring for patients with C. auris infection.
What can you do? Follow infection prevention best practices:
- Comply with hand hygiene protocols.
- Follow standard precautions and use contact precautions for patients with suspected or confirmed auris infections.
- Use dedicated equipment as much as possible.
- Ensure thorough cleaning between uses of shared equipment.
For any suspected cases of C. auris, please email Asante Infection Prevention.
- Standard precautions 400-IC-IC-0109.
- Transmission-based isolation precautions 400-IC-IC-0629.
- Isolation requirements 400-INF-0013.
- Candida auris fast facts 400-INF-0055.
- Management of candidemia and invasive candidiasis in adults UptoDate.
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