Candida Auris – UPSC Prelims

Candida Auris (deadly hospital pathogen) identified for the first time in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
About Candida Auris:
  • Candida Auris or C.auris is a multidrug-resistant fungus. It presents a serious global threat to human health.
Origin of Candida Auris:
  • Candida Auris was first identified in 2009 in a patient in Japan. The fungus emerged in more than 40 countries across five continents in the last decade.
  • The fungus is mostly found in tropical marshes and marine environments, outside hospital environments.
  • However, It is an emerging pathogen, thus very little is known about the Candida Auris so far.
Symptoms of C.Auris:
  • C.Auris infections can show no symptoms before turning into a fever and chills. These symptoms don’t go away despite the use of medicines and can lead to death.
  • C.auris survives on the skin before entering the body through wounds. Once in the bloodstream, it causes severe illness and can lead to death.
Why is C.Auris considered harmful? C.Auris is considered dangerous because of three reasons:
  • C.Auris is often multidrug-resistant. It means that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
  • C.Auris can survive and persist within the hospital environment for prolonged periods. It is capable to survive on dry environmental surfaces for prolonged periods. It means that it is well adapted to survival outside human host settings as well.
  • C.Auris is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
Vulnerable Population:
  • C.Auris can be deadly for immunocompromised patients. The incidence of deaths from this fungal infection is high in countries such as the US and the UK, but its prevalence is less in Indian hospitals.
  • Most C. auris infections are treatable with a class of antifungal drugs called echinocandins. However, some C. auris infections have been resistant to antifungal medications making them more difficult to treat.
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