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Pathogen Profile – Candida auris (C. auris)

Candida auris (C. auris), is a species of fungus that grows as a yeast and is considered a serious global health threat, as an emerging and multidrug-resistant pathogen.¹

Pathogen characteristics

Candida auris has numerous virulence qualities and shows multi-drug resistance patterns to common antifungal therapy used for other invasive Candida infections.

The first case of C. auris was initially observed in the ear canal of a patient in Japan in 2009, and since then C. auris has been associated with a wide range of clinical infections, including bloodstream, wound, and ear infections, in many countries globally. C. auris has been responsible for outbreaks across five continents, in thirty-five countries including India, Pakistan, Venezuela, Colombia, Spain, Israel, South Africa, the United Kingdom⁵, and the USA.

Who is Most at Risk of Contracting Candida auris?

C. auris mostly affects patients with severe underlying medical conditions who require complex medical care. Patients with invasive medical devices like breathing tubes, feeding tubes, catheters in a vein, or urinary catheters tend to be at increased risk of acquiring C. auris and developing an infection.²

C. auris can cause a variety of infections from superficial (skin) infections to more severe, life-threatening infections. C. aurisis most dangerous when it causes invasive infections, such as bloodstream infections. 

Healthy people without these risk factors, including healthcare workers and family members, have a lower risk of becoming infected with C. auris. People can unknowingly carry C. auris on their skin and other body sites without becoming sick or having an infection, unknowingly transmitting C. auris onto surfaces or objects that they contact, which can then spread it to other patients.

Reducing the Transmission of Candida auris

C. auris can be efficiently transmitted from person to person, however, it can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and fomites when shed from infected or colonized patients. Studies have found that C. auris may be found in patients’ rooms and outside the patient’s rooms in hallways, chairs, beds, windowsills, counters, electrocardiogram leads, blood pressure cuffs, infusion pumps, and ventilators.³

Laboratory studies of C. auris persistence show that it may survive on moist or dry surfaces for seven days.⁴ The transmission of C. auris can be reduced through standard infection control practices including the routine and diligent disinfection of surfaces and compliance with effective hand hygiene protocols.

To claim yeasticidal efficacy, surface disinfectants in the UK must be tested against Candida albicans to European standards EN 13624 and EN 17387. CHEMGENE MEDLAB Multi-Surface Disinfectants are certified to be yeasticidal and in addition, have been successfully tested directly against Candida auris.

This is usually identified on the product back label, or in the technical information pack from the manufacturer and it is advisable to check that your current disinfectant or sanitiser has this test data, to ensure your biosecurity protocols will be effective.

More frequent hand washing is advisable, and hand sanitiser which is effective against yeast is also necessary for use when access to soap and water is not available. Regular facilities checks must ensure soap and sanitiser dispensers are in working order, and that sanitiser is present.

Communication with staff and visitors is extremely important. Compliance with cleaning protocols relies upon the understanding of everyone who enters the building, so communicating the correct practices and products to both staff and visitors will help to improve compliance.

Byotrol Disinfectant Products Effective Against Candida auris

Byotrol’s CHEMGENE MEDLAB Multi-Surface Disinfectants have been rigorously tested to European Standards EN 13624 and EN 17387 to confirm they are effective for controlling the spread of Candida auris in a variety of environments including hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, clinics, and community care settings.

CHEMGENE MEDLAB Multi-Surface Disinfectant is effective against C. auris within 5 minutes, diluted to just 2%, making it an economical solution for the environmental disinfection of non-medical devices within human healthcare settings.

CHEMGENE is compatible with a wide range of surfaces and materials, including stainless steel, copper, aluminum, mild steel, nylon, rubber, and acetal, making it an ideal product for the disinfection of frequent touch-points, walls, floors, furniture, and non-critical equipment.

For more information on Byotrol products and how they can help to protect your organisation, please click here or contact us.

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

References;

¹ Candida auris – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

² About Candida auris (C. auris) | Candida auris | Fungal Diseases | CDC

³ Biswal M, Rudramurthy SM, Jain N, Shamanth AS, Sharma D, Jain K, Yaddanapudi LN, Chakrabarti A. Controlling a possible outbreak of Candida auris infection: lessons learnt from multiple interventions. J Hosp Infect. 2017 Dec;97(4):363-370.

⁴ Piedrahita CT, Cadnum JL, Jencson AL, Shaikh AA, Ghannoum MA, Donskey CJ. Environmental Surfaces in Healthcare Facilities are a Potential Source for Transmission of Candida auris and Other Candida Species. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2017 Sep;38(9):1107-1109.

A Candida auris Outbreak and Its Control in an Intensive Care Setting – PubMed (nih.gov)

 

 

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