Is it seen only in Covid? No! Candida Auris was first reported in 2009 in Asia. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks of Candida Auris have been reported in COVID-19 units of acute care hospitals. These outbreaks may be related to changes in routine infection control practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited availability of gloves and gowns, or reuse of these items, and changes or limitations in cleaning and disinfection practices..
WHY IS CANDIDA AURIS A CAUSE OF CONCERN? :
Candida Auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. The concerns about Candida Auris are mainly for three reasons:
1. It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections. Some strains are resistant to all three available classes of antifungals.
2. It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
3. It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify Candida Auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR INFECTION FROM CANDIDA AURIS? :
People who have recently spent time in nursing homes and have lines and tubes that go into their body (such as breathing tubes, feeding tubes and central venous catheters), seem to be at the highest risk for Candida Auris infection. Limited data suggest that the risk factors for Candida Auris infections are generally similar to risk factors for other types of Candida infections. These risk factors include recent surgery, diabetes, broad-spectrum antibiotic and anti-fungal use. Infections have been found in patients of all ages, from preterm infants to the elderly. Still, further study is needed to learn more about risk factors for Candida Auris infection.
HOW DOES CANDIDA AURIS SPREAD? :
Candida Auris can spread in healthcare settings through contact with contaminated environmental surfaces or equipment, or from person to person. More work is needed to further understand how it spreads.
HOW DO WE DIAGNOSE IT? :
Early suspicion and prompt intervention is key to success in candida infections. Like other Candida infections, Candida Auris infections are usually diagnosed by culture of blood or other body fluids. However, Candida Auris is harder to identify from cultures than other, more common types of Candida. For example, it can be confused with other types of yeasts, particularly Candida haemulonii. Special laboratory tests are needed to identify Candida Auris.
DO WE HAVE DRUGS TO TREAT CANDIDA AURIS? :
Antifungals resistance is known in Candida Auris and the resistance rate is increasing over the last few years. Drug if the choice for Candida Auris is Echinocandins, other antifungals have variable sensitivity. Source control is also one of the important steps in the management of this candidemia! Stringent infection control practices, including strict contact isolation and surface cleaning holds the key in management.