The drug-resistant fungus Candida auris was only discovered 10 years ago, but is now one of the most feared microbes by many hospitals around the world.
It is rumored that these microbes have spread, and in hot weather, the chances of infection are also greater.
The United States Institute for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling for a better understanding of people who are susceptible to these infections.
Here’s what you need to know about these superbug fungus.
What is Candida Auris?
Candida auris (C. auris) is a yeast, a type of fungus that can cause infection in humans.
This species is still associated with Candida albicans that cause canker sores.
The first time the fungus was found in the ear canal was in a patient at the Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital, Japan in 2009.
Often, Candida yeast lives on our skin without causing problems, but it can cause infection if we are unwell or go into the wrong place, such as blood flow or lungs.
Candida Auris Spread
Candida auris is actually unable to live in the human body because human body temperature is not ideal for Candida auris growth. However, this fungus is thought to be able to adapt to hotter temperatures due to increasingly hot climate change.
Candida auris fungus is a fungus that is resistant to antifungal drugs that can usually be used and available on the market. Generally Candida auris is only resistant to one or two types of antifungal drugs. However, it has now been found several types of Candida auris that can survive against all three types of antifungal drugs on the market.
Candida auris can be contagious quickly because it can survive on the skin and the surface of things, especially in hospitals or other health centers. Not only is its rapid transmission and resistance to antifungal drugs, Candida auris is difficult to detect using common laboratory methods and the infection is prone to misdiagnosis.
Candida auris can cause a variety of serious diseases in sufferers and in certain cases can spread in the patient’s body through blood vessels. Infections that can occur are infections of wounds, ear infections, and vascular infections.
Infections triggered by Candida auris can lead to death. The mortality rate from Candida auris infection ranges from 30 to 60 percent, but please note that before being infected with Candida auris, sufferers usually have contracted other serious diseases.
Candida auris symptoms
The tricky thing about Candida auris infection – called candidiasis – is that its symptoms depend on which part of the body is affected. A more complicated problem is, since the disease most often appears in the clinical environment and in patients who already suffer from other conditions, the signs can be easily missed. However, doctors have managed to find several markers that could be the result of candidiasis:
A hallmark of Candida auris infection is that standard antifungal drugs will be completely ineffective or work poorly. This may be due to the use of such substances on farms.
Ear infections are characterized by sharp or blunt pain in the ear canal, a feeling of “fullness” in the ear, unclear hearing, ear drainage, and nausea. If left untreated, this type of infection can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Characterized by the invasion of bacteria into the tissues of the wound that is in the process of healing, this infection causes inflammation, redness around the wound site, discharge of yellowish or orange pus from the wound, increased pain around the wound, delayed healing, and fever.
Stages Of Wound Healing, and The Wound Types
Perhaps the most dangerous result of Candida auris spread is an infection of the bloodstream. This potentially fatal condition is characterized by fever, chills, pain, redness and swelling, discharge (if there is an incision location), and a general feeling of fatigue and unwellness.
Urine samples were also found with Candida auris, although it is unclear how big the risk of bladder infection is.
Cases of untreated Candida auris infection can lead to coma, and more than a third of cases, especially if there is a bloodstream infection, lead to death.
- Image: Shawn Lockhart, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
- Video: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)