HealthDay News — Thirteen cases of Candida auris, a globally emerging invasive, multidrug-resistant fungus, have been identified in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Of the 13 US cases reported between May 2013 and August 2016, 7 are described in the November 4 early-release issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, while the other six remain under investigation.
The 7 cases presented in the report occurred in 4 states: Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. All of the patients had serious underlying medical conditions and had been hospitalized an average of 18 days when diagnosed with C auris infection. Four patients died, the CDC said, but whether the fungal infection was the direct cause of the deaths remains unclear. Two patients had been treated in the same hospital or long-term care facility and had nearly identical fungal strains.
In June, the CDC issued a clinical alert about the global emergence of C auris. It requested that laboratories report cases and send patient samples to state and local health departments and the CDC. Without specialized laboratory testing, C auris infection is easily misidentified as another type of Candida infection, the report noted. This means patients may not receive appropriate treatment. Also, 71% of the C auris strains from US patients had some resistance to antifungal drugs. For now, the CDC recommends vigilant daily and post-discharge disinfection of infected patients’ rooms.
Vallabhaneni S, Kallen A, Tsay S, et al. Investigation of the First Seven Reported Cases of Candida auris, a Globally Emerging Invasive, Multidrug-Resistant Fungus — United States, May 2013–August 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 4 November 2016. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6544e1.