Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
Public Health England (PHE; London, UK) has confirmed that over 200 patients in England have been found to have been infected or colonized with Candida auris – a fungus with the potential to be multi-drug resistant.
The first UK case was reported in 2013, and although there have been no fatalities as yet, infection rates have been rising. As of July, 20 separate NHS Trusts and independent hospitals had reported detection of C. auris, in addition, 35 other hospitals have admitted patients from elsewhere known to be colonized with C. auris. Three UK hospitals have seen large outbreaks, including the Royal Brompton Hospital in London (UK), which saw over 50 cases.
The concern around C. auris is primarily due to resistance to the three major classes of antifungals. This week PHE updated their guidance for C. auris laboratory investigation, management and infection prevention and control. UK hospitals are now carefully monitoring for further cases and putting measures in place to ensure this yeast doesn’t spread any further.
Colin Brown, PHE Consultant Medical Microbiologist, commented: “PHE continues to provide ongoing expert support and advice on infection control measures to limit the spread of Candida auris in healthcare settings.
“Our enhanced surveillance of this uncommon fungus shows that in the UK it has mostly been detected in colonised patients, with a quarter being clinical infections.”
Want to find out more about C. auris? Watch our video to discover why this yeast is considered an emerging threat.