Invasive Candida auris infections in Kuwait hospitals: epidemiology, antifungal treatment and outcome
Candida auris is a recently recognized yeast pathogen, which has attracted worldwide attention due to its multidrug-resistant nature and associated high mortality rates. Its persistence in hospital environment and propensity of nosocomial transmission underscores the need of continuous monitoring to prevent outbreaks. Since the first case of C. auris candidemia in May, 2014, we have identified 17 additional invasive cases, which are described here.
Identity of 17 isolates originating from proven or possible cases of invasive C. auris infection and identified as Candida haemulonii by Vitek 2 yeast identification system was confirmed by PCR-sequencing of rDNA. Information about risk factors, treatment and outcomes were retrospectively retrieved from case files. Antifungal susceptibility testing was performed by Etest.
Thirteen cases of candidemia and 4 cases of other invasive infections were detected in 6 hospitals across Kuwait. Major risk factors included adult patients with cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal/liver diseases and extended (> 25 days) hospital stay. All isolates were resistant to fluconazole. Additionally, 5 and 4 isolates were also resistant to voriconazole and amphotericin B, respectively. Despite antifungal treatment, 9 of 15 patients died. Most patients (n = 12) were hospitalized in 2 hospitals that are in close proximity, whereas 5 other patients were from 3 hospitals that are situated > 10 km apart.
Occurrence of successive cases of invasive C. auris infections with resulting mortality in nine patients suggests persistence of this multidrug-resistant yeast in major hospitals in Kuwait. Early detection by continuous surveillance and enforcement of infection control measures are recommended.
KeywordsCandida auris Invasive infections Epidemiology Antifungal susceptibility Kuwait
Authors are thankful to Soumya Varghese, Sandhya Vayalil and Omar Musallam for excellent technical support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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