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JAMA Patient Page
October 15, 2019

Candida auris Infection

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 2Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan
JAMA. 2019;322(15):1526. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.13857

Candida auris is a new form of yeast that is easily spread between patients and can be very difficult to treat.

Yeasts can infect people, and one of the common types of yeast is called Candida. The Candida auris species was unrecognized before 2009. Many genetically unrelated forms of C auris have emerged in different parts of the world for unknown reasons. Use of antifungal drugs in people or animals or fungicides in agriculture may play a role. This yeast has caused outbreaks of infection in hospitals and nursing homes. Unlike other yeasts that originate in human bodies, C auris can be acquired from the health care environment and spread from patient to patient. Candida auris can cause serious infections of the bloodstream, gut, wounds, and other sites. Some infections are resistant to all antifungal drugs and do not respond to treatment; death rates from this infection can reach 60%. Some patients may have C auris on their skin or in their rectum, wounds, or mouth, but they feel well and have no symptoms of infection. This condition is called asymptomatic colonization, and treatment with antifungal drugs does not eliminate C auris colonization.

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