Candida Auris superbug spotted in Mysuru: Research

Candida Auris superbug spotted in Mysuru: Research

A strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at a CDC laboratory. Date	29 September 2016. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the first time in the state, research carried out by faculty working at University of Mysore and at JSS Medical College and Hospital traced the presence of the Candida Auris, a deadly superbug in two patients at the JSS hospital of the city, the Times of India reported.

Candida Auris — a fungus which has developed resistance against antibiotics and is highly contagious — afflicts people with a weakened immune system, including those using steroids or suffering from viral infections, HIV, alcohol-induced liver problems and people recovering from surgeries in hospitals.

Candida Auris, a Global problem (Graphics by: Akhil Kadidal)
Candida Auris, a Global problem (Graphics by: Akhil Kadidal)

READ MORE: Medical professionals battle ‘superbug’ in secrecy

What is Candida Auris?

♦ Candida Auris is a member of the candidaemia fungus family, many of which reside in the human body.

♦ The fungus can survive in the environment for up to three months.

♦ While the fungus is impervious to common household detergents, it is not resistant to antiseptics, including hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine. A simple soap handwash or alcohol can eliminate it.

♦ The first case was noticed in Kolkata in 2011. The patient died of infection. Doctors unable to verify the origin of the pathogen.

♦ Some studies blame extensive use of pesticides and overuse of antibiotics for the rise of disease.

Presence detected

Umamaheshwari S is pursuing post-doctoral studies under Shubha Gopal, professor, department of studies in microbiology, the University of Mysore (UoM) and Dr Sumana M N, professor and head, the department of microbiology had undertaken the research and informed that the presence of the superbug was traced a month ago.

DH had previously reported on how the Indian medical and scientific circles have been waging a hidden war against the superbug for the past eight years. 

The fungus, which has a mortality rate of between 43 and 60 per cent, an incubation period of under 96 hours and can cause death within 30 days, is currently being controlled by a combination of drugs, some of which may be ineffective in the near future.

Countries from which Candida auris cases have been reported, as of May 31, 2019. (Photo: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website)
Countries from which Candida Auris cases have been reported, as of May 31, 2019. (Photo: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website)


Previous instances of the superbug identified:

  • 2009: The organism is discovered in the ear of an elderly woman in Japan. However, it turns out that C. Auris strains were also present in Pakistan and India in 2008 and 2009.
  • 2012–2013: A medical center in Venezuela treats 18 patients with C. Auris.
  • 2012–2016: In South Africa, more than 450 infections were reported.
  • Since 2013: The US has tracked nearly 600 cases, mostly in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey.
  • 2015–2016: A London hospital reports 72 cases of C. Auris.