Fungal Disease Awareness Week is September 23–27, 2019. CDC and partners have organized this week to highlight the importance of recognizing serious fungal diseases early enough in the course of a patient’s illness to provide life-saving treatment.
The frequency of fungal infections has increased in recent years, largely due to the increasing size of the at-risk population, which includes cancer patients, transplant recipients, patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection and other patients who receive immunosuppressive therapy. Additionally they are not uncommon in critically ill patients and are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Although antibiotic-resistant infections are a widely-recognized public health threat, less is known about the burden of antifungal-resistant infections. In this regard, antifungal resistance is becoming increasingly problematic, particularly for Candida glabrata and Aspergillus fumigatus. Whilst some species of Candida are inherently resistant to certain antifungals, in others acquired resistance occurs via selection of mutations in existing genes, particularly in units with high antifungal consumption. This can seriously impact the outcomes of patients with invasive candidiasis. The problem will likely continue to evolve unless greater attention is given to measures to prevent and control the spread of resistant Candida spp.
Recently, a new MDR species, Candida auris emerged causing persistent multi-regional outbreaks. Initially reported from Japan in 2009 Candida auris have now been found in different countries on all the continents. However, the real prevalence and the epidemiology of Candida auris still remain uncertain One of the causes may be the underestimation of its isolation due to the limited accuracy of available conventional diagnostic tools Due to its capability of nosocomial transmission and forming adherent biofilms on clinically important substrates, a high number of related hospital outbreaks have been reported worldwide As Candida auris is a multidrug resistant pathogen and is prone to misidentification by available conventional methods, it is difficult to eradicate and leads to frequent therapeutic failures of Candida auris infections. Good standard infection control, including environmental cleaning, adequate cleaning and reprocessing of medical devices, and adequate capacity of microbiological laboratories, as well as sufficient capacity of healthcare facilities for patient isolation, are the basis for the prevention of transmission of any pathogen in healthcare settings The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( issued an extraordinary alert in June 2016 about the global emergence of invasive infections caused by Candida auris in healthcare facilities In addition to the US CDC, also the European CDC released a rapid risk assessment and options for action to reduce the risk of transmission of Candida auris in healthcare settings.
In view of the rapid and widespread reports of cases and outbreaks Candida auris worldwide there is an urgent need to raise awareness of this emerging pathogen.