Safety Considerations When Working with Known or Suspected Isolates of Candida auris
Important: All safety procedures should conform to your institution’s safety policy. These safety steps are recommendations for when the laboratory is working with known or suspected Candida auris isolates. They are not meant to supersede your institution’s methods and policies.
- Follow your institution’s policy on use of personal protective equipment (PPE), but use at least lab coat and gloves, and eye protection if spatter or splash may occur.
- Use a biological safety cabinet (BSL2) when manipulating known or suspected C. auris isolates. C. auris can contaminate surfaces extensively, and it is difficult to eradicate. We do not know if C. auris can colonize the skin of otherwise healthy people. Yeast isolates confirmed NOT to be C. auris may be processed on the bench if your institution’s safety policy allows.
- To disinfect surfaces contaminated with C. auris, use either 10% bleach (made fresh daily) or a product with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval specifically for C. auris. Note that the list of products approved by EPA is being updated as more is learned about this emergent pathogen. The most recent list of approved products can be found in CDC’s environmental disinfection guidance. It is important to note that products with C. albicans or fungicidal claims may not be effective against C. auris, and accumulating data indicate products solely dependent on quaternary ammonium compounds are NOT effective.
- After work with C. auris is complete, decontaminate the biological safety cabinet with 10% bleach (or another product from #3 above) for your institution’s recommended contact time for this disinfectant (but for at least 10 minutes). Wipe off excess bleach solution after the recommended contact time is met (i.e., after at least 10 minutes). To minimize bleach damage to equipment, use 70% ethanol after bleach treatment.
- Remove PPE and clean hands before leaving the laboratory, according to your institution’s policy and methods.
- Dispose of contaminated materials as infectious waste following your institution’s standard guidelines.