Candida auris Facts

Learn About this Emerging Threat

What is it?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1, Candida auris (C. auris) is an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast (a type of fungus). It can cause severe infections and spreads easily between hospitalized patients and nursing home residents.

First identified in 2009 in Asia, C. auris has quickly become a cause of severe infections around the world. It is often multidrug-resistant; 90% of isolates are resistant to at least one antifungal; 30% of isolates resistant to at least two antifungals.

How does it spread?

  1. C. auris can spread in healthcare settings through contact with contaminated environmental surfaces or equipment, or from person to person. Patients who have been hospitalized in a healthcare facility a long time, have a central venous catheter, or other lines or tubes entering their body, or have previously received antibiotics or antifungal medications, appear to be at highest risk of infection to C. auris. C. auris can be carried on patients’ skin without causing infection, allowing spread to others.

How to prevent its transmission?

  1. C. auris can persist on surfaces in healthcare environments. C. auris has been cultured from multiple locations in patient rooms, including both high-touch surfaces, such as bedside tables and bedrails, and surfaces farther away from the patient, such as windowsills. C. auris has also been identified on mobile or reusable equipment that is shared between patients, such as glucometers, temperature probes, blood pressure cuffs, ultrasound machines, nursing carts, and crash carts.

The primary measures for prevention of C. auris transmission in healthcare settings are:

Adherence to hand hygiene.

Appropriate use of Transmission-Based Precautions based on setting.

Cleaning and disinfecting the patient care environment (daily and terminal cleaning) and reusable equipment with recommended products, including focus on shared mobile equipment (e.g., glucometers, blood pressure cuffs).

Communication about patient’s C. auris status when patient is transferred.

Screening contacts of newly identified case patients to identify C. auris colonization.

Laboratory surveillance of clinical specimens to detect additional cases.