Hospital-Associated Multicenter Outbreak of Emerging Fungus Candida auris, Colombia, 2016
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. The authors conducted an investigation to characterize the epidemiology, transmission mechanisms, and reservoirs of this organism. They investigated 4 hospitals with confirmed cases of C. auris candidemia in 3 cities in Colombia. They abstracted medical records and collected swabs from contemporaneously hospitalized patients to assess for skin colonization. They 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.
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