The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has voiced concern about the rise in Candida auris (C. auris) infections in Europe and is highlighting the need to raise awareness of and inform clinical and laboratory staff about this emerging threat.
The first discovered case of infection of the fungus was reported in 2009 in Japan and 620 cases of Candida auris were reported between 2013 and 2017 in six EU/EEA countries namely; Spain, the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, and Norway. Austria detected one case in January 2018.
In a new rapid risk assessment, the ECDC highlights difficulties with laboratory identification and lack of awareness of this Candida species which it says may delay early detection, increasing the potential for horizontal transmission.
It suggests a number of response measures to reduce risks, including improvement of surveillance and preparedness. These include giving consideration to admission screening for C. auris carriage and pre-emptive isolation of patients who are transferred from or have recently been admitted to hospitals that have detected C. auris cases. It says the detection of a case of C. auris should trigger an investigation including a detailed case review and screening of close contact patients.