Candida auris, an emerging fungal pathogen resistant to many antimicrobial agents, continues to threaten U.S. public health. Researchers at bioMérieux Inc. conducted a retrospective analysis of blood cultures positive for C. auris and found an upsurge in detection of this pathogenic yeast between 2021 and 2023.

The average detection rate of 0.014% before October 2022 (July 2020 to September 2022) rose to 0.057% after October 2022 (October 2022 to March 2023). They presented their findings at ASM Microbe 2023, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Infection rate changes

The researchers investigated changes in C. auris infection rates geographically and over time, from 2021 to 2023, by using a proprietary blood culture identification panel (BIOFIRE BCID2) and a cloud-based surveillance network (BIOFIRE Syndromic Trends [TREND]). The blood culture identification panel tests for 43 targets, including C. auris. The surveillance network captures anonymized patient results, greater than 100,000 positive blood cultures, in near real-time.

C. auris poses a serious health risk. Approximately 50% of isolates resist both disinfection and multiple antibiotics. Thus, mortality rates are high when this organism becomes established in the bloodstream.

First detected in the United States in 2016, the C. auris infection rate increased 95% by 2021. The BioMérieux researchers analyzed C. auris detection rates in a United States cohort from 2021 to 2023 and found a significant increase in C. auris bloodstream infections in 2023 compared with infections in previous years.

 “The study results confirm that we must continue to emphasize public health interventions under the leadership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to meet the continuing challenge posed by antimicrobial-resistant C. auris and protect community health,” said presenting author Tristan T. Timbook, Director of Health Economics Outcomes Research, Global Medical Affairs, for bioMérieux. “The near real-time surveillance provided by TREND and the BIOFIRE BCID2 panel represent important tools for monitoring trends in C. auris infection.”

Read more at EurekAlert.

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