candida auris

What is Candida auris?

In recent years, the healthcare field in the United States has been concerned about the rapid spread of Candida auris (C. auris), a yeast-type fungus. This aggressive pathogen has taken center stage due to its alarming capacity to spread within healthcare facilities, posing a significant threat to vulnerable populations, particularly individuals with compromised immune systems. 

Candida auris is a multidrug-resistant fungus that is difficult to pinpoint using traditional laboratory techniques accurately. Unfortunately, incorrect identification can result in the spread of infection in medical settings. It is essential to correctly identify C. auris in a hospital patient as soon as possible so that the necessary steps can be taken to contain its spread.

C. auris can be passed on to other people through contact with surfaces it has been on, such as laboratory tables and equipment, as well as through contact with infected individuals who may not even be aware they are carrying it. When someone does not know they are affected by C. auris, they are considered to be colonized by the fungus. This makes it possible for those without symptoms to be carriers of the fungus and to spread it to others. 

UV-C Helps Stop the Spread of Candida auris

To stop the spread of Candida auris, it is important to use multiple sanitation steps that incorporate frequent cleaning, proper hand hygiene, and using UV-C technology. Due to the virus’ multi-drug resistance, taking this layered approach helps prevent the spread of the fungus.

After a room is cleaned, using a UV-C tower like the Arc, can inactivate 99.97% of C. Auris in less than 7 minutes. This is an effective approach to disinfecting a room as healthcare staff quickly turn over rooms for new patients. 

UV-C can serve as an effective infection control measure for preventing C. auris and other HAIs in healthcare settings. Implementing UV-C disinfection protocols can contribute to enhanced patient safety and combat the growing threat of pathogens.

How Germicidal UV-C Inactivates Microorganisms

Germicidal ultraviolet-C (UV-C) is a region of the electromagnetic spectrum that has proven to be effective in inactivating a wide range of microorganisms within line of sight by damaging their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA). Due to its ability to reduce Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs), it has been widely adopted in hospital environments with robust evidence demonstrating its efficacy.

UV-C inactivates microorganisms by causing photodamage to their DNA. This suggests that the organism’s complexity is more important than its genetic mutations. Most enveloped viruses can be inactivated with a fraction of the dose of UV-C required to deactivate spores.

Viral variants are equally vulnerable to UV-C as their original versions.

What to do when a Candida auris outbreak happens?

Once Candida auris is present, it is necessary to inventory the affected areas to determine the extent of the spread of the fungus. To make sure no space is left untouched, organizations can create a disinfection plan. This plan details the areas that will receive a cleaning, when this cleaning will take place, and what techniques will be used in the process. 

The cleaning strategy should include a UV-Light cleaning device and process that produces sufficient UVC dose to inactivate the C. auris. If it does not, C. auris could still survive and continue to be an issue for ‌healthcare facilities. 

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