Candida auris (C. auris) was recently named one of five urgent threats in the CDC Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States. There are active cases of C. auris in long term care facilities in Massachusetts and across the country. This organism is known to be resistant to many of the common agents used to treat fungal infections. This, along with it being highly transmissible, has led to significant healthcare associated outbreaks with potentially high mortality rates. Infection prevention and control strategies are key to limiting the transmission and outbreaks of C. auris in health care facilities. Long-term care facilities should be following the CDC recommended infection control and prevention protocols:
Hand-hygiene - Alcohol based hand sanitizer is preferred method if hands are not visibly soiled. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly soiled. Gloves are not a substitute for proper hand hygiene!
Contact precautions or enhanced barrier precautions – Initiate contact precautions or enhanced barrier precautions for residents with C. auris. Staff must change PPE and perform hand hygiene when moving between residents.
Cohorting – Consider a private room whenever possible for a resident with C. auris. If a private room is not available, residents can be cohorted with a resident with the same MDRO. If neither is available, implement practices to minimize transmission such as spatial separation (3 ft) and privacy curtains.
Environmental Cleaning - Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of environmental surfaces. Thorough daily and terminal cleaning and disinfection of any area a resident receives care using EPA registered hospital-grade disinfectant effective against C. auris (list P). These are products with effectiveness claims against C. auris. Of note, all products on List P are also effective against SARS-CoV2. List P: Antimicrobial Products Registered with EPA for Claims Against Candida Auris | US EPA. Clean and disinfect any reusable equipment.
Education and Training - Increase hand-hygiene and infection control audits. Educate staff on C. auris and the importance of infection control practices to minimize transmission and outbreaks.
Care Transitions - Poor communication of information before and after transitions of care between care settings is harmful to patients and contributes to the spread of infections across healthcare facilities. An example of a CDC interfacility transfer form can be found here.
CDC: Infection Prevention and Control for Candida auris
CDC: Information for Laboratorians and Health Professionals
CDC: Information for Infection Preventionists
CDC: Candida auris | Candida auris | Fungal Diseases
DPH MRDO Toolkit
- Select Webinars from the menu.
- Select CDC MDRO Webinar Series
- Select Combatting MDROs Together A, C. Auris and CPO Colonization Screening 101.
- Participants will need to register. There is no cost to participate.