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Hospital-Associated Multicenter Outbreak of Emerging Fungus Candida auris, Colombia, 2016

Armstrong, P.A.; Rivera, S.M.; Escandon, P.; Caceres, D.H.; Chow, N.; Stuckey, M.J.; Díaz, J.; Gomez, A.; Vélez, N.; Espinosa-Bode, A.; Salcedo, S.; Marin, A.; Berrio, I.; Varón, C.; Guzman, A.; Pérez-Franco, J.E.; Escobar, J.D.; Villalobos, N.; Correa, J.M.; Litvintseva, A.P.; Lockhart, S.R.; Fagan, R.; Chiller, T.M.; Jackson, B.; Pacheco, O.

Emerging Infectious Diseases 25(7)

2019


ISSN/ISBN: 1080-6059
PMID: 31211679
DOI: 10.3201/eid2507.180491
Accession: 069068149

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. We conducted an investigation to characterize the epidemiology, transmission mechanisms, and reservoirs of this organism. We investigated 4 hospitals with confirmed cases of C. auris candidemia in 3 cities in Colombia. We abstracted medical records and collected swabs from contemporaneously hospitalized patients to assess for skin colonization. We 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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