MAY 19, 2017 05:16 PM PDT

C. auris Superbug Seen in More Patients Across US

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an alert in June 2016 about Candida auris; later that summer seven cases were described. The CDC has now reported 122 new cases of infection resulting from the C. auris bacterium. It’s considered a superbug because it’s very difficult to treat, and is primarily a threat to those faced with lengthy hospital stays.

 

The infections are typically occurring in older, chronically ill people in healthcare facilities and the CDC is focusing efforts on preventing transmission there. The infections have happened in three principle areas: Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

C. auris was first identified in Japan, and has managed to spread around the world in only about eight years. Scientists are concerned about it not only because it is often resistant to so many drugs like fluconazole, amphotericin B, and even echinocandins; it also has a very high mortality rate.

“This emerging fungal species has started to infect patients globally, causing invasive infections that are associated with a high death rate,” commented Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD, MBA, FIDSA, Professor and Director of the Center for Medical Mycology at the Department of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. “It is multidrug-resistant, and some strains isolated from patients are resistant to all commercially available antifungal drugs. Multidrug-resistance used to be reported for bacteria only, and now we must add fungi to the list.”

Related: Understanding the Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Ghannoum has led a study of 16 strains of C. auris, and is studying the effects of an investigational drug on the infection.

“Understanding the virulence of C. auris and showing that the investigational drug is effective may lead to the development of new medications to combat this emerging health threat,” said Ghannoum. “Eradication of Candida auris from hospitals is very difficult and in some cases has led to closing hospital wards.”

The fungi lurk on catheters, and those staying in the hospital for long periods of time are most at risk.


Sources: STAT News, Case Western Reserve University, CDC, Medscape

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 15, 2019
Microbiology
NOV 15, 2019
To Maintain Diversity in the Microbiome, Wild Animals Need Their Natural Foods
Bacterial communities can be vital partners to many living organisms, from humans beings to the white-throated woodrat....
NOV 15, 2019
Microbiology
NOV 15, 2019
Potential New Antibiotic Discovered in Soil-Dwelling Microbe
Many of our best antibiotics have come from microbes, which have to use them to battle other microorganisms in a struggle for resources....
NOV 15, 2019
Microbiology
NOV 15, 2019
Learning More About Toxoplasmosis
Around a third of the global population, including 40 million Americans are thought to be infected with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii...
NOV 15, 2019
Immunology
NOV 15, 2019
Immune System Responsible for Organ Failure in Malaria
In the most severe cases of malaria, a person can experience organ failure and die. Often times, though, this is not directly due to the parasitic malaria ...
NOV 15, 2019
Immunology
NOV 15, 2019
Algorithm Predicts Response to HIV Immunotherapy
Blood samples from HIV patients produced the data necessary for two scientists to build a mathematical model for predicting how HIV patients will respond t...
NOV 15, 2019
Cancer
NOV 15, 2019
How HPV might actually defend against skin cancer
New research from scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital features findings that suggest that immunity to certain strains of HPV (human papillomavirus...
Loading Comments...