Sanford, Florida : There are many different kinds of fungi, including one called Candida auris. Infections caused by this form of Candida can be very dangerous, and even fatal, for humans.
Due to their resistance to multiple treatments, some strains of Candida auris (C. auris) pose a serious risk to human health. Health care settings are particularly prone to outbreaks of drug-resistant strains.
C. auris infections don't always present with obvious symptoms, so a lab test is the only surefire way to identify the problem.
What is C. auris?
Only a small subset of the Candida fungus can infect humans, and C. auris is one of them.
In Japan in 2009, scientists identified C. auris after isolating the bacteria from an infected ear canal. The Latin word for "ear" is "auris," hence the name. But the infection can show up in many different organs, so the name is a bit misleading.
Since then, scientists all over the world, including the United States, have identified the fungi.
Who is vulnerable?
According to the CDC, people who have preexisting medical conditions or who need frequent or extended stays in hospitals or other care facilities are at a higher risk of contracting C. auris.
People with weak immune systems because of a disease or treatment are also more likely to get C. auris. Additional risks may be incurred by those who undergo the following medical interventions:
Heavy use of antibiotics
Use of breathing tubes
Having catheters in the bladder or a vain
Using feeding tubes
Also, studies have shown that the vast majority of patients with invasive C. auris had previously been treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics.
While antibiotics certainly don't cause infections, they may pave the way for C. auris to thrive by wiping out the body's natural defenses against it.
In most cases, C. auris infections do not occur in people who are otherwise in good health.
C. auris infections are notoriously hard for doctors to diagnose because they usually show up in people who are already sick.
Depending on where a C. auris infection is, the symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. An open wound, the circulatory system, or the ear canal are all viable sites for its growth.
Fever and chills that persist despite the administration of antibiotics for a suspected bacterial infection are typical symptoms.
The only way to know for sure if someone has C. auris is to use a special test in a lab that can identify the fungus.
The importance of an early diagnosis cannot be overstated. Infections with C. auris that have spread to other parts of the body or to the bloodstream can produce debilitating symptoms and pose a risk to the patient's life.
What factors contribute to its rapid spread?
C. auris spreads most commonly in hospitals and other care facilities when patients come into contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment.
However, it is also possible for it to spread from one person to another. It's possible that people with Candida lose the fungus through their skin cells. Sanitation, cleanliness, and good hygiene are all very important things to think about when trying to stop the spread of C. auris.
But scientists are still trying to figure out how and why C. auris spreads all over the world.
The treatment, as well as the resistance:
In most cases, even the most severe C. auris infections can be successfully treated. Antifungal medications known as echinocandins are often the first line of defense in treatment.
Some C. auris strains, however, have developed resistance to multiple types of antifungal medication. Due to this, treatment is more challenging.
Infections could become more serious if drug-resistant strains emerge. When this happens, doctors often give a powerful combination of antifungal medicines to try to get rid of the infection.
Before a decision is made, the patient should know about all of the possible treatments and what might happen if they choose one over another.
Threat of an Outbreak:
Infections caused by C. auris have been reported in 30 countries, including the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that these infections occur in many other countries because of the lack of appropriate diagnostic methods.
C. auris is unlike other infectious microorganisms, which can start an outbreak in one part of the world and then spread to others.
In 2019, researchers found that cases of C. auris appeared at the same time on three continents, with each strain having its own genetic code.
Scientists haven’t been able to pin down why all of the infections suddenly surfaced at the same time. Climate change and other environmental factors may have played a role, according to some theories. In addition, they speculate that the fungi may have evolved resistance to antifungal medications.
C. auris typically does not affect healthy people, so that is something to keep in mind. A healthy person's risk of contracting C. auris should not increase due to travel abroad or close contact with a person who has the infection.
However, good hygiene is still necessary to avoid infecting those who are more susceptible to illness.
C. auris infections can only be found with the help of tests and equipment that are only available in specialized labs. Misdiagnosis and the subsequent spread of an infection may occur more frequently in facilities that lack access to these diagnostic aids.
Candida can still cause an infection after it has been treated, so the CDC recommends following strict isolation rules for as long as the infection lasts. This is hard to do because there are signs that Candida can live in a person for a long time.
Even though Candida outbreaks can happen in healthcare settings, C. auris can be stopped in many ways.
Individual measures to control C. auris include:
Screening patients to find out who is at risk and who has colonized
Putting limits on the number of people who work with C. auris patients
Separating infected patients from healthy ones
Using disinfectants of hospital grade
Exchange of information with other medical institutions
Candida auris information for patients and family members.
If you have symptoms, visit the National Candida Center in Florida to ascertain if you have candida overgrowth, followed by a natural treatment for candida problems. The holistic approach followed there mainly focuses on a dietary and lifestyle change to improve your intestinal health to fight against any harmful bacterias that leads to candida, IBS or other gastrointestinal issues.
About National Candida Center:
Established in 1994, the National Candida Center is a pioneering holistic clinic treating digestive issues like dysbiosis, candida, leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. That means we've been doing this for a long time and have successfully treated thousands of patients using our integrative method. We provide safe and effective alternatives to pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures. Our practice is based on underlying principles that are not well understood by the pharmaceutically-driven, corporate healthcare system.
National Candida Center
101 Crystal View South
Sanford, FL 32773
Email: [email protected]