A Treatment Resistant Fungus is a Growing Threat in Hospitals

A deadly fungus called Candida auris is on the rise in US hospitals.

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A deadly fungus called Candida auris is on the rise in US hospitals. Infections increased by 59% in 2020 and 95% in 2021, and new data shows the problem grew even worse in 2022. This yeast infection can cause severe disease and death in people with weakened immune systems. According to a recent study, 34% of hospitalized patients with Candida auris infections died. When the fungus entered the bloodstream, the death rate rose to 47%. This fungus is multidrug-resistant, meaning that physicians have limited treatment options. In fact, Candida auris has demonstrated resistance to every class of antifungal medication. As a result, doctors rely on Antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) choose the right treatment. A sample of the fungus is taken from the patient and analyzed in a laboratory to determine which drug is likely to kill it. However, US hospitals often lack the ability conduct these tests, requiring samples to be sent out to specialty laboratories. In addition to being time consuming and expensive, these tests are not always accurate. Microbiology experts have called for the development of better tests.

Full Story: NBC News, CIDRAP