The fungus Candida auris ?C. auris?, is already considered an urgent threat in the US after it has spread at an alarming rate in health care centers across the country, but above all because of its high resistance to antifungals.
According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ?CDC, for its acronym in English? Just as worrying is the tripling in 2021 of the number of cases resistant to echinocandins, the most recommended antifungal drug for the treatment of Candida auris infections.
In general, this fungus is not a threat to healthy people, the CDC detailed in a statement. However, people who are very sick and have invasive medical devices or long or frequent stays in health care facilities are at higher risk of contracting C. auris.
CDC has considered C. auris an urgent AR threat because it is often resistant to multiple antifungal drugs, spreads easily in health care settings, and can cause serious infections with high mortality rates.
"The rapid increase and geographic spread of cases are concerning and emphasize the need for continued surveillance, expanded laboratory capacity, faster diagnostic testing, and adherence to proven infection prevention and control," said the CDC epidemiologist. , Meghan Lyman, lead author of the article.
C. auris has spread in the United States since it was first reported in 2016, with a total of 3,270 clinical cases ?infecting? and 7,413 cases of detection ?in which the fungus is detected but does not cause infection? informed until December 31, 2021.
Clinical cases have increased every year since 2016, with the fastest increase occurring during 2020-2021, while the CDC has continued to see an increase in case counts for 2022.
During 2019-2021, 17 states identified their first C. auris case. Nationwide, clinical cases increased from 476 in 2019 to 1,471 in 2021. Screening cases tripled from 2020 to 2021, for a total of 4,041. Screening is important to prevent spread by identifying patients carriers of the fungus so that infection prevention controls can be used.
C. auris case counts have increased for many reasons, including general poor infection prevention and control practices in health care settings, in addition to increased increased case-finding efforts.
The timing of this increase and the findings of public health investigations suggest that the spread of C. auris may have worsened due to pressure on healthcare and public health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDC's Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory Network, which provides nationwide laboratory capacity to rapidly detect antimicrobial resistance and inform local responses to prevent the spread and protect people, provided some of the data for The report.
The CDC detailed that they have worked to significantly strengthen the capacity of laboratories, including in state, territorial and local health departments, through supplemental funds supported by the American Rescue Plan Act.
Efforts include increasing C. auris susceptibility testing capacity from seven regional laboratories to more than 26 laboratories nationwide.
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