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Clinical Alert: Preventing the Spread of Candida auris

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently released a new update to their recommendations on infection control measures for Candida auris (C. auris), an emerging multidrug-resistant (MDR) yeast, which is causing invasive healthcare-associated infections with high mortality. The CDC released a clinical alert on February 22, 2017 to provide U.S. healthcare facilities with new information on C. auris (see link below). This update is based on the most recent information as released by the CDC.

Background Information on Candida auris:

  • C. auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant (MDR) yeast that can cause invasive infections and is associated with high mortality.
  • C. auris was first identified in 2009 after being isolated from external ear discharge of a patient in Japan.
  • C. auris infections have most commonly been hospital-acquired and occurred several weeks into a patient’s hospital stay.
  • C. auris is commonly misidentified as Candida haemulonii, Candida famata, Candida sake, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or Rhodotorula glutinis using traditional methods to identify yeast strains.
  • Patients were found to have similar risk factors for infections with other Candida species, including: diabetes mellitus, recent surgery, recent antibiotics, and presence of central venous catheters.
  • The precise mode of transmission within the healthcare facility is not known; however, experience during these outbreaks suggests that C. auris can persist on surfaces of healthcare environments of colonized or infected patients.

CDC Interim Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with C. auris:
The CDC has issued interim guidelines on how healthcare facilities can respond to suspected cases of C. auris. Clinicians should continue to use EPA- registered disinfectants and alcohol-based hand sanitizer in accordance with the CDC guidelines below.

Environmental Infection Control Recommendations:

  • Reporting – Healthcare facilities who suspect they have a patient with C. auris infection should contact state/local public health authorities and the CDC (
  • Infection Control – Until further information is available, healthcare facilities should place patients with C. auris colonization or infection in single rooms and healthcare personnel should use Standard and Contact Precautions. In addition, state or local health authorities and the CDC should be consulted about the need for additional interventions to prevent transmission. The CDC is working with domestic and international partners to develop definitive infection control guidelines.

Environmental Cleaning Recommendations:

  • Anecdotal reports have suggested that C. auris may persist in the environment. Healthcare facilities who have patients with C. auris infection or colonization should ensure thorough daily and terminal cleaning and disinfection of these patient’s rooms using an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant effective against Clostridium difficile spores. This is a change from the original CDC recommendation to use a disinfectant with a fungal claim.

PDI offers Sani-Cloth® Bleach Germicidal Disposable Wipes (4-minute contact time) for environmental surface disinfection which has an efficacy claim against Clostridium difficile spores. This product should be used in accordance with the CDC Guidelines.These updated interim guidelines for environmental disinfection supersede the CDC guidelines posted earlier on

If you have any additional questions, please contact PDI at (800) 999-6423.