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Emerg Infect Dis. 2019 Jul;25(7). doi: 10.3201/eid2507.180491.

Hospital-Associated Multicenter Outbreak of Emerging Fungus Candida auris, Colombia, 2016.

Abstract

Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant fungus that causes hospital-associated outbreaks of invasive infections with high death rates. During 2015-2016, health authorities in Colombia detected an outbreak of C. auris. We conducted an investigation to characterize the epidemiology, transmission mechanisms, and reservoirs of this organism. We investigated 4 hospitals with confirmed cases of C. auris candidemia in 3 cities in Colombia. We abstracted medical records and collected swabs from contemporaneously hospitalized patients to assess for skin colonization. We identified 40 cases; median patient age was 23 years (IQR 4 months-56 years). Twelve (30%) patients were <1 year of age, and 24 (60%) were male. The 30-day mortality was 43%. Cases clustered in time and location; axilla and groin were the most commonly colonized sites. Temporal and spatial clustering of cases and skin colonization suggest person-to-person transmission of C. auris. These cases highlight the importance of adherence to infection control recommendations.

KEYWORDS:

Candida auris; Colombia; antimicrobial resistance; candidemia; fungi; healthcare-associated; nosocomial infections

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