Virology

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

Outbreaks in healthcare

Researchers have now shows that patients who are heavily colonize with Candida auris on their skin can shed the fungus and contaminate their surroundings. Therefore This finding provides an explanation for the extensive contamination that often occurs in healthcare facilities with C. auris outbreaks. These results can help inform infection control efforts.

To test this hypothesis; the researchers develop methods to count C. auris in samples collect from patients’ skin and their rooms. We found that patients can have very high concentrations of C. auris on their skin, and higher levels of C. auris on their skin are correlate with higher levels of C. auris on the patient’s bed.

Patients are actively shedding

“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 design 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 are previously; but no longer, occupied by patients with C. auris.

“These results should be considered in developing more effective strategies for infection control efforts during a C. auris outbreak;” said Dr. Sexton. Therefore 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). Because These samples were collected by the City of Chicago’s Public Health Department led by Massimo Pacilli.

Effective strategies for infection

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 is present at American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2019 conference in San Francisco, California.

Healthcare facilities in several countries have report that a type of yeast called Candida auris has been causing severe illness in hospitalize patients.  In some patients; this yeast can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, causing serious invasive infections. This yeast often does not respond to commonly used antifungal drugs, making infections difficult to treat.