Only known since 2009, the yeast Candida auris, which is often multidrug resistant, challenges hygiene experts throughout the world. The pathogen can trigger infections that are hard to treat; ill and immunosuppressed patients are at particular risk. The United States federal agency CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) explicitly warns of against the yeast, because it is resistant to many common antifungal drugs (e.g. Fluconazole) and is being hard to detect by standard laboratory methods . Existing data suggests that, in hospitals,C. aurismay spread in patterns that are similar to those of methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) . For a correct identification, it is key to apply targeted hygiene measures to prevent a transmission and outbreaks.
Symptoms and clinical picture
C. auris may elicit ear, surgical site and urinary tract infections. If the yeast enters the bloodstream, also fatal bloodstream infections can occur.
Transmission route: contact infection
Transmission mainly occurs through direct or indirect contact with contaminated persons or objects. Medical devices, objects and surfaces in the direct patient environment play a special role. C. auris is a particularly resistant yeast fungus: on inanimate surfaces, the pathogen can survive for up to seven days - possibly even longer.
Infection control measures in case of C. auris 
- Contact isolation
Patients with C. auris should be isolated to contain a spread of the fungus. If possible, the number of employees having contact to the isolated patient should be reduced to a minimum.
- Hand hygiene in case of C. auris
When taking care of patients with C. auris, particular attention should be paid to the hygienic hand disinfection. The 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene apply here:
- BEFORE contact with patients or residents
- BEFORE aseptic procedures
- AFTER body fluid exposure risk
- AFTER contact with patients or residents
- AFTER contact with patient/resident surroundings
When treating isolated patients, employees should additionally use gloves and avoid touching surfaces outside the patient surroundings with the gloved hands. Please note: Gloves do not replace a hand disinfection. The hands must therefore be disinfected before donning and after having removed the gloves.
- Surface disinfection in case of C. auris [3,4]
C. auris is very resistant and can survive on surfaces for several days.
For effective disinfection, a levurocidal spectrum of activity according to the risk assessment is sufficient. For effective surface hygiene with C. auris, routine disinfection and final disinfection according to the risk assessment are recommended.
1. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:Candida auris. (retrieved on: 08/10/2021)
2. Epidemiologisches Bulletin Nr. 36. Robert Koch Institut, September 2017.
3. Assadian O et al (2021) Practical recommendations for routine cleaning and disinfection procedures in healthcare institutions: a narrative review. J Hosp Infect 113:104-114.
4. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Recommendations for Infection Control for Candida auris.. (retrieved on: 08/10/2021)