Healthcare Professionals FAQ
Healthcare facilities that suspect they have a patient with C. auris infection should contact state or local public health authorities and CDC (firstname.lastname@example.org) immediately for guidance.
C. auris can be misidentified as a number of different organisms when using traditional biochemical methods for yeast identification. Accurate identification of C. auris requires use of sequencing or mass spectrometry. For detailed information about when C. auris infection should be suspected and how it can be identified, please see the Recommendations for Identification, Treatment, and Infection Prevention and Control of Candida auris.
Consultation with an infectious disease specialist is highly recommended. Echinocandins should be used for initial treatment in most cases. For more detailed treatment information, see CDC’s Recommendations for Identification, Treatment, and Infection Prevention and Control of Candida auris.
C. auris can cause invasive infection (e.g. bloodstream, intra-abdominal) requiring antifungal therapy. However, C. auris also has been found in noninvasive body sites and can colonize a person without causing active infection. These sites include urine, external ear canal, wounds, and respiratory specimens. Because C. auris has also been found on the skin, colonization also can be determined by screening swab. It is important to note that recommended infection control measures are the same for both infection and colonization with C. auris. For more detailed information about screening and infection control measures, please see the Recommendations for Identification, Treatment, and Infection Prevention and Control of Candida auris.
Patients have been found to be colonized for several months after active infection has resolved. We don’t know the maximum amount of time that a patient can be colonized.
There are currently no data on the efficacy of decolonization for patients with C. auris, such as the use of chlorhexidine or topical antifungals.
- The risk of C. auris infection to otherwise healthy people, including healthcare personnel, is very low.
- In the United States, C. auris infection has primarily been identified in people with serious underlying medical conditions who have received multiple antibiotics, and who have had prolonged admissions to healthcare settings or reside in healthcare settings.
- Otherwise healthy people do not seem to be at risk for C. auris infections but can be colonized on their skin.
- In one study involving a C. auris outbreakExternal, colonization with C. auris was detected in <1% of healthcare personnel. Colonization was transient on the hands and in the nostrils.
- Protect yourself and your patients by cleaning your hands. Be sure you clean your hands the right way at the right times.
- At this time, healthcare providers do not need to be tested for C. auris unless they are identified as a possible source of transmission to patients.
- Family members of healthcare personnel do not need to be tested for C. auris.
- C. auris can colonize patients’ skin and other body parts months after active infection has resolved.
- C. auris can be shed into healthcare environments by colonized people and persist for weeks.
- Persistence of the organism both on patients and in the environment enables its spread.
What infection control measures should be used for patients with C. auris infection or colonization?
- In acute-care settings like hospitals, patients colonized or infected with C. auris should be placed in single rooms on Standard and Contact Precautions Cdc-pdf[PDF – 226 pages].
- Nursing home residents who are colonized or infected with C. auris should be housed in single rooms when available and placed on Contact Precautions.
- See the Recommendations for Identification, Treatment, and Infection Prevention and Control of Candida auris for the most up-to-date recommendations.
Testing suggests that C. auris can survive on surfaces for weeks.
Thorough daily and terminal cleaning and disinfection of these patients’ rooms is recommended. For more detailed information, please see CDC’s Recommendations for Identification, Treatment, and Infection Prevention and Control of Candida auris.