About C. auris

Key points

  • Candida auris (C. auris) is a type of yeast that can cause severe illness and spreads among patients in healthcare facilities.
  • Symptoms of C. auris depend on the type of infection (i.e., bloodstream, wound, ears).
  • C. auris is often resistant to antifungal medications.
  • Healthy people typically do not get C. auris.
Three panel image of a microscope with a petri dish showing C. auris fungi in a petri dish; the second panel is a disinfectant spray bottle, the last image is of a patients hooked to a central line and IV with a fever.


Candida auris is a type of yeast that can cause severe illness and spreads easily among patients in healthcare facilities. C. auris can cause a range of infections from superficial (skin) infections to more severe, life-threatening infections, such as bloodstream infections.

C. auris is often resistant to antifungal medications, meaning the fungus develops the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill it. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Resistant infections can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat.


C. auris can cause infection in different parts of the body like the blood, wounds, and ears. Symptoms of a C. auris infection depend on the location and severity of infection. Symptoms may be similar to symptoms of infections caused by bacteria like fever or chills. There is not a common set of symptoms specific for C. auris infections.

Elderly patient in a hospital bed with IVs and a thermometer indicating a fever.
Symptoms of C. auris depend on the infection site. Fevers are common.

Colonization (C. auris without symptoms)

People can have C. auris on their skin and other body sites without having symptoms. Healthcare providers refer to this as 'colonization.' People who are colonized can spread C. auris onto to surfaces and objects around them and to other patients.

Colonization screening‎

Patients may not know if they are colonized with C. auris. Healthcare providers can screen patients for colonization by collecting and testing skin swabs. Patients who are colonized can spread C. auris. Screening is important to help prevent C. auris from spreading.

Risk factors

C. auris mostly affects patients with severe underlying medical conditions and those requiring complex medical care and invasive medical devices. Invasive medical devices are often necessary but create pathways for C. auris to get into the body. Examples include:

  • Breathing tubes
  • Feeding tubes
  • Catheters in a vein
  • Urinary catheters

Not considered a risk for healthy people‎

Healthy people, those who are not hospitalized or severely ill, generally do not get C. auris.

Most of the time, it is unnecessary to screen or test healthcare providers or family members.

How it spreads

Patients who are infected and patients who are colonized with C. auris can spread it onto surfaces and objects like bedrails, doorknobs, and blood pressure cuffs. C. auris can survive on surfaces and objects for a long time and spread to other patients who can become sick.

C. auris usually remains on a patient's skin or body sites for a long time, whether or not they ever have symptoms. They will still be able to spread C. auris.


Healthcare providers take special steps to prevent the spread of C. auris while infected or colonized patients are in healthcare facilities. Patients should inform healthcare providers about their previous infection or screening results before receiving healthcare after discharge.

Learn more about prevention.

Treatment and recovery

IV antifungal
Echinocandin antifungals can treat most infections.

Most strains (types) of C. auris are resistant to at least one type of antifungal medicine. Fortunately, most infections can be treated with a class of antifungal medications called echinocandins.

However, some C. auris strains are resistant to all three main classes of antifungal medicines, including echinocandins. There is limited data on treatment of these infections. Healthcare providers may combine multiple antifungal medicines or try a newer pre-approved antifungal to treat multidrug-resistant infections.


Most patients who become sick with C. auris were already very sick. When patients with C. auris die, it is hard to know how much C. auris contributed to their death compared to pre-existing illnesses.