According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a drug-resistant “superbug” fungus ‘Candida auris’ is rapidly spreading in the US states of Texas and Washington.
Candida auris (C auris) is an emerging, frequently multidrug-resistant yeast that is highly transmissible, resulting in healthcare-associated outbreaks, particularly in long-term care facilities.
C auris, which preys on people with compromised immune systems, was discovered in 2009. It has caused at least 587 illnesses in the United States since 2013.
According to evidence, the new cases involved person-to-person transmission, a first for the United States, according to the CDC.
While the agency discovered no epidemiologic links between the Texas and DC clusters, 30-day mortality in both outbreaks was 30%. The relative contribution of C auris, however, remained unknown, according to the agency.
101 cases of C auris were discovered in Washington, DC between January and April 2021. At a long-term care facility, three of these were isolated as being resistant to all three major classes of antifungal medications.
During the same time period, 22 C auris cases were discovered in Texas. Two of these were resistant to all three major classes of antifungal medications, while five were resistant to only one.
These seven cases were found in patients treated at two facilities in the same city; two were at a long-term acute care hospital, three at a short-term acute care hospital, and two at both, according to the CDC.
“These two simultaneous, independent clusters provide the first evidence suggesting that C auris strains might have been transmitted in US health care settings,” CDC’s Meghan Lyman, author of the report, said in a statement.
“Surveillance, public health reporting, and infection control measures are critical to containing further spread.
“Clinicians should consider early antifungal susceptibility testing in patients with C auris infection, especially in those with treatment failure. Data are lacking about the most appropriate therapy for anti-fungal resistant infections,” Lyman said.