Clusters of ‘Superbugs’: A Multidrug-Resistant Fungus Is Spreading In Two US Cities
At facilities in two U.S. cities, health officials discovered evidence of the spread of an untreatable “superbug.” The “emerging” fungus is a “major worldwide health danger,” according to the researchers.
According to AP News, the instances were recorded at a care home and two hospitals in Washington, D.C. From January to April this year, a fraction of the 101 clinical cases of Candida auris (C. auris) in D.C. and the 22 contemporaneous instances in Dallas, Texas, contained isolates that were resistant to all antifungal drugs now used to treat such infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) this week that C. auris is a “emerging, often multidrug-resistant yeast” that is highly transmissible and has been connected to health-care-related outbreaks. Azole, polyenes, and echinocandins are the three principal types of antifungal medicines now utilized to treat invasive infections.
According to the CDC, “based on provisional susceptibility breakpoints, approximately 85 percent of C. auris isolates in the United States are resistant to azoles, 33 percent to amphotericin B, and 1 percent to echinocandins.” “Echinocandin resistance is a serious clinical and public-health concern, especially when it is combined with azole and amphotericin B resistance (pan-resistance).”
Pan-resistant C. auris has previously been documented in the United States and other countries, though “rarely,” according to the CDC.
Three cases of pan-resistant C. auris were reported in New York in 2019, according to AP News, after the isolates were found to be resistant to echinocandins, which are considered the “final line of defense.”
There was no evidence that the diseases had transferred from one patient to another in any of the cases. It’s more than likely that resistance developed as a result of echinocandin treatment.
However, there was no evidence of past echinocandin use in the new patients.
“Each cluster involved common health-care encounters and no previous echinocandin exposure,” the CDC explained, “suggesting transfer of pan- and echinocandin-resistant strains for the first time in the United States.”
According to AP News, the CDC’s Dr. Meghan Lyman stated, “This is really the first time we’ve begun seeing clustering of resistance” in which patients appeared to be contracting infections from one another.
According to the CDC, there are “no known epidemiologic linkages” between the Texas and D.C. clusters. Three of the five instances that were completely resistant to all therapies perished.
Both outbreaks are currently ongoing, according to Lyman, who added that more cases have been discovered since April.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of C.