Candida Auris Surveillance
The what and why of C. Auris Surveillance Testing
June 20, 2023 by Jeffery Cuneo
What is it?
Candida Auris is a species of fungus that grows as yeast. It is one of the few species of the genus Candida which cause candidiasis in humans. Often, candidiasis is acquired in hospitals by patients with weakened immune systems1. Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
It was first identified in Japan in 2009, although the earliest infection is believed to have occurred in South Korea in 19963. Since its identification, unrelated strains of the fungus have been found in multiple countries worldwide, including the United States,
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of Candida Auris infection can vary widely depending on the person and on the part of the body affected. The most common symptoms include a fever and chills, but these symptoms are common in many other infections1. Infected patients usually show fever with chills as symptoms. They appear as wound infections, ear infections and blood infections. A blood infection is the most problematic one.
To perform testing, a duo e-swab is used to collect from two sources and analyzed to determine whether the patient is carrying the organism without signs of infection. Screening can help identify and control the spread of C. auris, a critical proactive measure as the pathogen can cause serious infections.
Screening for C. auris colonization may be recommended when transmission or colonization is suspected. Screening can be done by using a composite swab of the patient’s bilateral axilla and groin. We perform surveillance using Chromogenic Agar, a type of differential medium that contains chromogenic substrate. It is used to differentiate and identify microorganisms, typically bacteria and fungi, based on their ability to produce specific enzymes that react with the chromogenic substrate.