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Mycoses. 2018 Oct;61(10):786-790. doi: 10.1111/myc.12817. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

Evaluation of a new T2 Magnetic Resonance assay for rapid detection of emergent fungal pathogen Candida auris on clinical skin swab samples.

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Mycotic Diseases Branch, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia.


Candida auris is a multidrug-resistant pathogenic yeast whose recent emergence is of increasing public-health concern. C. auris can colonise multiple body sites, including patients' skin, and survive for weeks in the health care environment, facilitating patient-to-patient transmission and fueling health care-associated outbreaks. Rapid and accurate detection of C. auris colonisation is essential for timely implementation of infection control measures and to prevent transmission. Currently, axilla/groin composite swabs, used to assess colonisation status, are processed using a culture-based method that is sensitive and specific but requires 14 days. This delay limits the opportunity to respond and highlights the need for a faster alternative. The culture-independent T2 Magnetic Resonance (T2MR) system is a rapid diagnostic platform shown to detect target pathogens of interest from unprocessed blood samples in <5 hours. In this study, a new C. auris-specific T2 assay was evaluated for screening of the skin surveillance samples. Inclusivity and limit of detection of the T2 C.  auris assay were assessed with spiked samples in a representative skin flora background. The T2 C. auris assay recognised isolates from each of the 4 known clades of C. auris and consistently detected cells at 5 CFU/mL. Finally, 89 clinical axilla/groin swab samples were processed with the T2 C. auris assay. The culture-based diagnostic assay was used as a gold standard to determine performance statistics including sensitivity (0.89) and specificity (0.98). Overall, the T2 C. auris assay performed well as a rapid diagnostic and could help expedite the detection of C. auris in patient skin swabs.


Candida auris ; T2; fungal infection; molecular diagnostic

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