Candida auris Outbreak in the U.S.

Title: “Deadly Drug Resistant Fungal Infection Outbreak Causing Concern In U.S.”

Source: ReliaWire

Date:  March 12, 2017

Link:  https://reliawire.com/candida-auris/

Summary:  Candida auris  has led to almost 30 infections in the United States. The outbreak is troubling because the fungal strain happens to be multi-drug resistant and is linked to a high death rate.  Even though that the outbreak is fairly new, researchers are confident that there may be a way to work against it.

Connections: We’ve talked about antimicrobial resistance in class and this is an example of a drug resistant fungus. This also incorporates with the overarching theme that public health and science are intertwined.

Critical Analysis: I find it interesting that this fungus has been able to cause an outbreak despite how many downfalls it has. For example, C. auris cannot produce spores. This is surprising considering that it has been able to spread and infect  patients so easily in hospitals. Also, not every strain even has the enzymes that allow for infections in body tissues. It is strange that the fungus has been able to be so successful considering these things. This article seems to be factually correct. It quotes both the CDC and a professor at the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. The article may have had some scientific terms that could be tough to understand for someone that is unfamiliar with medicine or biology. Despite that, it was not written to be misleading and does not describe the infection in a way that would cause panic in the public. Instead, it describes what has happened to cause the outbreak and what researchers and healthcare workers are doing to prevent spread.

Question: The article mentioned that combatting this fungus is an issue because it can be especially hard to identify in labs. What could be a method to properly identify the pathogen?

1 Comment for “Candida auris Outbreak in the U.S.”

Rod Espejo

says:

Since medical biology is within my field of interest, this post was a fascinating case study. A multi-drug resistant fungi is, indeed, a threat and almost unheard of, which was what caught my attention in the first place.
To answer your question, however, the CDC stated that a fungal culture of blood (or other bodily fluids) is usually the way to identify C. auris, but as you already know, this is very unreliable since the fungus is very identical to other Candida species. Also according to the CDC, Candida auris is usually mistaken for Candida haemulonii, so one method to distinguish it from that is to sequence its DNA and compare it to existing databases. Nevertheless, that’s only ONE way to find it. Check this out if you’re still interested: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/recommendations.html

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