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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

CDC Alert: Invasive Fungal Infections with High Mortality

By Gary Evans, AHC Media Senior Staff Writer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an alert and guidelines for identifying and treating patients infected with a deadly multidrug resistant yeast infection that is being acquired in healthcare settings.

International healthcare facilities are reporting that Candida auris, an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast, is causing invasive healthcare-associated infections with high mortality, the CDC warns. Given the occurrence of the emerging pathogen in nine countries on four continents since 2009, CDC is alerting U.S. healthcare facilities to be on the lookout for C. auris in patients.

Some strains of C. auris have elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations to the three major classes of antifungals, meaning treatment options are severely limited. Complicating matters, C. auris requires specialized methods for identification and could be misidentified as another variety of yeast when relying on traditional biochemical methods.

The CDC is aware of one isolate of C. auris that was detected in the United States in 2013 as part of ongoing surveillance. Experience outside the United States suggests that C. auris has high potential to cause outbreaks in healthcare facilities.