Candida auris

C. auris; Researchers have now shown that patients who are heavily colonized with Candida auris on their skin can shed the fungus and contaminate their surroundings. But this finding provides an explanation for the extensive contamination that often occurs in healthcare facilities with the outbreaks. These results can help inform infection control efforts. But the research is present at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

C. auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that can cause large outbreaks in healthcare facilities. But understanding how C. auris spreads in healthcare facilities is essential for infection control. But it can be present on the skin without causing symptoms; it has been hypothesizing the spread of fungi occurs as patients naturally shed their skin cells. This process could lead to substantial contamination of the surrounding environment and therefore increase chances of transmitting C. auris.

C. auris Transmission

“To test this hypothesis, the researchers developed methods to count C. auris; but in samples collected from patients’ skin and their rooms. But we found that patients can have very high concentrations of fungi on their skin, and higher levels of C. auris; on their skin were correlating with higher levels of it on the patient’s bed,” said Joe Sexton, ORISE post-doctoral fellow in the Mycotic Diseases Branch

“This finding support our hypothesis that patients are actively; shedding C. auris cells into their environment;” said Joe Sexton, ORISE post-doctoral fellow in the Mycotic Diseases Branch; at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who designed and led the study. The researchers were able to culture live C. auris from the beds of all patients who tested positive; and even beds that were previously, but no longer, occupied by patients with C. auris.

Strategies for infection control

“These results should be consider in developing more effective strategies for infection control efforts; during a fungi outbreak,” said Dr Sexton. Patient and environmental samples were process in the Mycotic Diseases Branch laboratory; in Atlanta by Joe Sexton, Meghan Bentz, and Rory Welsh and Anastasia Litvintseva; who served as a principal investigator (PI). These samples were collect by the City of Chicago’s Public Health Department led by Massimo Pacilli.

But additional groups within CDC also supported this work including the Department of Scientific Resources; and the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion; and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. But this work will be presented at American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2019 conference in San Francisco, California.

ASM Microbe is the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology; held June 20th through 24th in San Francisco, California. The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of more than 30,000 scientists; and health professionals. ASM’s mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.