CDC reports transmission of drug-resistant Candida auris with threat level – urgent

Candida auris is an emerging multi-drug resistant, highly transmissible yeast (a type of fungus) affecting especially severely ill patients with weakened immune systems mostly in long-term care health facilities. C. auris spreads from skin wounds and leads to invasive infections in the bloodstream. The most common specimen sources of clinical cases of C. auris are blood (40%), urine (28%), wound (8%), and sputum (6%). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), azoles (e.g., fluconazole), polyenes (e.g., amphotericin B), and echinocandins are three major classes of antifungal medications for the treatment of C. auris infection.

C. auris was first identified in 2009 in Asia and began spreading in the United States in 2015. Reported cases of C. auris increased 318% in 2018 when compared to the average number of cases reported in 2015-2017. Recently CDC reported outbreaks of a multidrug-resistant C. auris among patients in hospitals and long-term facilities in Texas and Washington, D. C. during January – April 2021. Multidrug-resistant C. auris is a concerning clinical and public health threat.

It has been reported that approximately 85% of C. auris isolates in the U.S. are resistant to azoles, 33% to amphotericin B, and 1% to echinocandins. Based on this data, echinocandins are thus recommended as a first-line therapy for most invasive Candida infections.

Integrity Laboratories, offers multiple PCR-based molecular diagnostic tests for the detection of a variety of infectious disease pathogens of genitourinary and respiratory tracts, as well wound and Biofilm panel using AmpliteCtTM Pathogen Load IndicatorTM (PLITM). C. auris is one of fifteen pathogens detected in patient specimens using our polymicrobial Biofilm Dx and wound panel Abraze Dx. Integrity Laboratories’ laboratory developed tests (LDT) identify not only pathogens, e.g. C. auris, but also provide Pathogen Load IndicatorTM (PLITM). PLITM utilizes the ability of the qPCR technique to rapidly quantify the pathogen’s genetic material and calculate the percentages of detected pathogens in tested patient samples. In addition, Integrity Laboratories’ developed LDT for the detection of fifteen antibiotic-resistant genes Orion Ar in detected pathogens to assist clinicians in identifying the appropriate antimicrobial treatment for patients. Providers and patients enjoy the confidence of next-day test results paired with antibiotic resistance markers eliminating the need for defensive administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics. 


-Maria Cekanova, RNDr, PhD

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