The deadly drug-resistant yeast has gained ground, and greater drug resistance amid COVID


Candida auris in a laboratory at the University of Wuerzburg. “/>

Zoom in / The director of the German National Reference Center for Invasive Fungal Infections holds a petri dish containing yeast Candida auris In a laboratory at the University of Würzburg.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday that a deadly, drug-resistant fungus that emerged in the United States has gained faster spread and acquired more drug resistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

yeast Candida auris It has been designated an “urgent threat”—the CDC’s highest level of concern—since it was first reported in the United States in 2016. The yeast lurks in healthcare settings and preys on vulnerable patients, causing invasive infections with Mortality ranges from 30 to 60 percent.

In 2019, before the pandemic began, 17 states and Washington, D.C., reported a total of 476 clinical cases. But in 2020, eight more states reported cases for the first time, with the national number of clinical cases jumping 59 percent to 756. In 2021, 28 states were affected, with the number of clinical cases nearly doubling to 1,471. Non-resident cases also jumped It has symptoms that were discovered by examining patients amid the spread of the epidemic, as it tripled from 1,310 cases in 2020 to 4,041 cases in 2021. The data appeared on Monday. In the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and underscores the need for continued surveillance, expanded laboratory capacity, faster diagnostic testing, and adherence to infection prevention and control,” Megan Lehman, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

But its spread wasn’t the only troubling aspect of the yeast’s epidemiological activities. It is also becoming more drug resistant. Before the epidemic, six patients developed infections that were resistant to the first-line antifungal drug, echinocandins. But in 2021 alone, there were 19 such cases. Similarly, prior to the pandemic, there were only four reports of generally resistant infections; That is, the fungus was resistant to all available drugs. In 2021, there were seven patients with generally resistant infections.

Before the pandemic, cases of echinocandin resistance and systemic resistance seemed to evolve independently in patients amid ongoing treatment — in other words, they were isolated cases that were not caused by human-to-human transmission. But in the cases of 2021, there was evidence of that two outbreaks of strains of echinocandins resistant and pan-resistant with human-to-human transmission.

And the timing of it increased C. auris Lehman and colleagues conclude that the prevalence and the results of the public health investigations indicate that it may have been exacerbated by pandemic-related stress on health care and public health systems.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers believe that shortages of staff and personal protective equipment may have contributed to the problem, as well as changes in patient movements and increased use of antimicrobial drugs. They also speculated that while specific infection control measures were tightened during the pandemic, others may have fallen by the wayside, such as environmental disinfection, that could have exacerbated the spread of the disease. They called for renewed efforts to clamp down on transmission. “C. auris remains an ongoing health threat in the United States,” they wrote. The alarming surge during the pandemic “provides impetus for refocusing on public health basics to prevent disease and save lives.”


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