Candida auris is an emerging human fungal pathogen that is being increasingly linked to outbreaks. It is concerning to health care workers because of its high mortality rate, due primarily to its antifungal resistance. Among the tools being developed to study this yeast are large cohorts of regional isolates, which can be useful for studying epidemiology, antifungal susceptibility patterns, and diagnostic methods. In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Y. Zhu, B. O'Brien, L. Leach, A. Clarke, et al. (J Clin Microbiol 58:e01503-19, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01503-19) describe the laboratory findings of a collection of isolates from a large outbreak of C. auris obtained from numerous health care facilities in the New York area. Real-time PCR was used as a screening tool with great accuracy, while internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and D1/D2 sequencing were successfully employed for isolate clade assignment. South Asia clade I was identified as the major genotype, while South American clade IV was a minor genotype. Surveillance isolates from patients confirmed axilla/groin and nare colonization; however, results of quantitative analysis of fungal burdens showed that when the nares are colonized, burdens are significantly higher than for axilla/groin colonization. Antifungal susceptibility testing was in agreement with past studies. High levels of fluconazole resistance were detected, while few isolates were resistant to echinocandins. Resistance to multiple antifungals was frequent, and three isolates were recovered that appeared to be pan-resistant. This type of study is yet another useful tool for investigating C. auris, which is becoming an increasingly important human fungal pathogen that should be monitored very closely.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)