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Candida auris: what is the potentially deadly fungus that worries the United States


A new study revived 'super mushroom' fears. How is it spread and who can get it?



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released

alarming reports

of the growth of the disease caused by the potentially deadly fungus Candida auris.

The concern has to do with the fact that the new study found that

declared cases of Candida auris

tripled in the last three years in the country and more than half of the states have already detected it.

A paper by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggested that the pandemic may have had something to do with the rise in cases.

A strain of Candida auris grown in a petri dish in a CDC laboratory.

Photo: AP

What is the fungus Candida auris?

The Candida auris fungus is a species of yeast that is not usually harmful to healthy people,

but can pose a life-threatening risk to delicate patients in hospitals and nursing homes


It spreads easily and can cause wound, ear, and bloodstream infections.

Some strains are so-called superbugs that are resistant to all three types of antibiotics used to treat fungal infections.

It was first identified in Japan in 2009 and is being seen more and more in other countries.

The first case in the United States was in 2013, but it was not reported until 2016. That year, US health officials reported 53 cases.

The new study found that cases have continued to skyrocket

, from 476 in 2019 to 756 in 2020, and then to 1,471 in 2021. Doctors have also detected the fungus on the skin of thousands more patients, making them a risk transmission to other people.

Many of the first cases in the United States were infections brought in from abroad, but now most infections spread within the country, the authors said, according to a cable from The Associated Press.

How is it contagious?

According to a press release from the Argentine government in November 2022, the time when the first two cases of the "super fungus" were discovered in the country,

Candida auris is transmitted through contact with contaminated environments or with colonized people


In dialogue with Clarín,

Javier Afeltra

, a mycologist at the "JM Ramos Mejía" Acute Hospital, who is also a professor of Microbiology at the UBA School of Medicine, explained that "mortality from Candida that can circulate through the bloodstream and impact on different organs, is generally high, but is associated not only with the infection by the germ but also with the fact that the patient who acquires it is in a serious clinical situation".

According to WHO, Candida auris causes infections in the bloodstream.

The people who are most at risk of suffering it are "immunocompromised subjects, but who also have predisposing factors for developing this type of candidiasis", that is, a "minority".

For the specialist, the most sensitive group includes patients who "are going through a serious condition for some reason, or post-surgery, or are in intensive care, since they may have intravenous catheters or probes (articles that predispose to this type of infection), and are usually treated, in addition, with multiple schemes of antibiotics".

From the Mycology Center of the Department of Microbiology, Parasitology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine of the UBA,

María Teresa Mujica

agreed with Alfetra: hospitalized patients are at greater risk, especially the most vulnerable and, also, health personnel in contact with them.

look also

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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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