HEALTH

Candida auris: what it is and which people are most at risk of infection

Candida auris is a fungus isolated in 2009 in Japan from the ear (hence the name) of a woman. Despite this, the first known isolate dates back to 1996, but the discovery came retrospectively through the collection of samples from Korea.

It can be transmitted through contact between infected people or with infected medical material, and in fact Candida auris is one of the most common infections that can be contracted in a hospital environment, in the case of prolonged hospitalisation or other pre-existing pathologies.

Diagnosis and treatment are, however, fairly simple once discovered.

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Candida auris: what it is and who is at risk of infection
Candida auris is a fungus isolated in 2009 in Japan from the ear (hence the name) of a woman. Despite this, the first known isolate dates back to 1996, but the discovery came retroactively thanks to the collection of samples from Korea.
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A threat to the health of the whole world
Generally, Candida auris is resistant to many types of drugs, and is difficult to detect unless one has a range of technological equipment. Moreover, a person may be infected even without knowing it. It can cause epidemic outbreaks in healthcare environments, being highly contagious, and in its invasive form it is also lethal.
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Main risk factors
It can be transmitted through contact between infected people or with infected medical material, and in fact Candida auris is one of the most common infections that can be contracted in a hospital environment, in the case of prolonged hospitalisation or other pre-existing conditions. In fact, sick people and those who spend a lot of time in hospital are much more exposed than others. Also those who require invasive medical devices, and those with compromised immune systems.
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Most common symptoms
Although the symptomatology depends on the part of the body affected, the most common symptoms are: bloodstream infections; intra-abdominal infections; wound infections; otitis.
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Diagnosis
Like other Candida infections, C. auris infections are diagnosed by culturing blood or other body fluids.
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The appropriate therapies
Most C. auris infections can be treated with a specific class of antifungals, the echinocandins. Some infections can be very difficult to treat due to multi-resistance to several antifungal agents, including fluconazole (and other azoles), amphotericin B and echinocandins. This results in therapy with multiple drugs and at higher doses.
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26/02/2024
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