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Intrahospital transmission and infection control of Candida auris originating from a severely infected COVID-19 patient transferred abroad

 E H Lee  ;  M H Choi  ;  K H Lee  ;  D Kim  ;  S H Jeong  ;  Y G Song  ;  S H Han 
 JOURNAL OF HOSPITAL INFECTION, Vol.143 : 140-149, 2024-01 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use ; COVID-19* ; Candida ; Candida auris ; Candidemia* / drug therapy ; Humans ; Infection Control / methods
COVID-19 ; Candida auris ; Infection control ; Intensive care unit ; Outbreak ; Tympanic thermometer
Background: Intrahospital spread of Candida auris, which survives tenaciously in many environments, can cause sustained colonization and infection. A large outbreak of C. auris was experienced in the intensive care units (ICUs) at the study hospital during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.Methods: The index patient with severe COVID-19, who was transferred from Vietnam in January 2022, developed C. auris candidaemia 10 days after hospitalization. From mid June 2022 to January 2023, strengthened infection prevention and control (IPC) measures were implemented in three ICUs: (1) contact precautions and isolation (CPI) for C. auris-positive cases; (2) surveillance cultures including point-prevalence (N=718) for patients or close contacts or ICU-resident healthcare workers (HCWs); (3) intensive environmental disinfection with 10-fold diluted bleach; and (4) 2% chlorhexidine bathing for all ICU patients. Environmental cultures (ECx) on surfaces and shared objects (N=276) were conducted until early September 2022, when all ECx were negative.Results: Among 53 C. auris-positive patients between February 2022 and January 2023, invasive infections resulted in seven cases of candidaemia and one case of pneumonia. C. auris was isolated from reusable tympanic thermometers (TTMs) contaminated with earwax. The isolation rate of C. auris in ECx decreased from 6.8% in June 2022 to 2.0% in August 2022, and was no longer detected in TTMs. Colonization in HCWs was remarkably rare (0.5%). The number of C. auris-positive patients peaked in July (N=10) then decreased gradually. By January 2023, no C. auris were isolated in the ICU.Conclusion: Aggressive IPC measures with CPI, ECx and surveillance, decontamination of TTMs, and bathing were effective in successfully controlling this C. auris outbreak.(c) 2023 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Laboratory Medicine (진단검사의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Dokyun(김도균) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0348-5440
Song, Young Goo(송영구) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0733-4156
Lee, Kyoung Hwa(이경화) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0033-1398
Lee, Eun Hwa(이은화)
Jeong, Seok Hoon(정석훈) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9290-897X
Choi, Min Hyuk(최민혁) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9801-9874
Han, Sang Hoon(한상훈) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4278-5198
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