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.
As of June 2023, four cases of C. auris have been reported in Ireland since it became notifiable in 2017. All are travel-related and are associated with colonisation or non-invasive infection. HPSC has not received any reports of C. auris bloodstream infection being detected in Irish hospitals to date. 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.
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 summarises the epidemiological situation in Europe, as well as providing advice on C. auris recognition, prevention, and control in healthcare settings.
- ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment: Candida auris in healthcare settings – Europe – 19 December 2016
- ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment: Candida auris in healthcare settings healthcare settings – Europe – first update, 23 April 2018
In February 2022, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) produced a Rapid Risk Assessment on a C. auris outbreak in healthcare facilities in northern Italy.
- ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment: Candida auris outbreak in healthcare facilities in northern Italy, 2019-2021
The results of a Europe-wide survey on the epidemiological situation, laboratory capacity and preparedness among EU and EEA countries (including Ireland) for the periods 2013 to 2017 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
A second study conducted between January 2018 and May 2019 was published in Eurosurveillance in November 2022 and can be found here: https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.46.2200846
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:
CDC guidance on the prevention and control of C. auris in healthcare settings can be found here:
PHE guidance on laboratory identification, prevention, and control of C. auris can be found here:
Last updated: 7 June 2023