Candida auris

Candida auris was first identified in 2009 and has emerged as a cause of healthcare-associated infections in countries worldwide. C. auris is a particular risk in healthcare settings as it can be readily spread between patients, can be associated with outbreaks of healthcare-associated infection, may be difficult to eliminate from healthcare environments, may be difficult to identify in laboratories, and is frequently resistant to commonly used antifungal drugs.

To date, no cases of C. auris infection or colonisation have been reported in Ireland. Under Irish infectious diseases legislation, C. auris is notifiable under the heading “any unusual clusters or changing patterns of any illness, and individual cases thereof, that may be of public health concern”. Any cases detected should be notified to the local Department of Public Health.

Candida bloodstream infection in Ireland
In January 2017, a voluntary national surveillance scheme of candida causing bloodstream infections was launched in Ireland. HPSC has not received any reports of C. auris bloodstream infection being detected in Irish hospitals to date. A summary report on the first year of surveillance is available on the HPSC website.

Assessment of C. auris risk in Europe
The number of C. auris cases reported in European countries has increased in recent years. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) produced a Rapid Risk Assessment on C. auris in December 2016, followed by an update in April 2018, that summarise the epidemiological situation in Europe, as well as providing advice on C. auris recognition, prevention, and control in healthcare settings.

The results of a Europe-wide survey on the epidemiological situation, laboratory capacity and preparedness among EU and EEA countries (including Ireland) was published in Eurosurveillance in March 2018, and can be found here: https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.13.18-00136 

Guidance on laboratory detection and infection prevention and control of C. auris
In addition to the advice included in the ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health England (PHE) have produced specific guidance on laboratory detection and infection prevention and control of C. auris.

CDC guidance on laboratory identification of C. auris can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/recommendations.html 
CDC guidance on the prevention and control of C. auris in healthcare settings can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/c-auris-infection-control.html 
PHE guidance on laboratory identification, prevention, and control of C. auris can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/candida-auris-laboratory-investigation-management-and-infection-prevention-and-control 

Last updated: 27 June 2018