U.S. Sees First Cases of Dangerous Fungus Resistant to All Drugs in Untreated People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said July 22 that researchers have reported cases of people carrying or being infected with strains of Candida auris that were resistant to all classes of antifungal drugs before any treatment. In addition, CDC reported some evidence of transmission of the superbug within healthcare facilities. C. auris has been highly resistant to the few available treatment options for several years; however, experts noted there are now "pan-resistant" cases in individuals who have never received antifungal drugs. CDC reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report there were five cases: three in Washington, D.C., and two in Texas. The cases were clustered within facilities — and while the particular settings were not identified, C. auris is typically diagnosed in very sick people who are in specialized long-term facilities. "This is the first time that we've actually identified clusters with common healthcare exposures in the same facilities and among patients who had not received antifungals," said Meghan Lyman, a medical officer in the mycotic diseases branch in CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. The report noted that in addition to the two pan-resistant cases in Texas, there were five patients with C. auris that was resistant to echinocandins and fluconazole, an antifungal drug in the azole class. The seven cases were detected in two different facilities; however, there was movement of patients between the two institutions. Lyman also noted the action number of pan-resistant cases was likely higher. "It might be under-detected. That's very likely," she said.
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