fungi Candida, the causative agent of candidiasis, thrush, systemic invasive infections

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of sporicidal disinfectants in hospital rooms of patients with Candida auris (C auris) colonization or infection. Specifically, daily and post-discharge cleaning of surfaces is recommended. But research says that non-sporicidal disinfectants can also be effective.

According to a Contagion Today article, a team of investigators from Northeast Ohio Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center, and Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center presented research on the effectiveness of disinfectant wipes in reducing C auris on surfaces.

That research included testing two distinct methods. The first evaluated the efficacy of different disinfectant wipes that were made up of various active ingredients. Specifically, the focus was on reducing C auris on steel, glass and equipment in the room.

The second method was conducted in a simulated patient room and examined efficacy of wipes and their potential for transferring C auris from surface-to-surface. Testing also included benefits of UV-C, use of quaternary ammonium and quaternary ammonium-alcohol wipes in a “real world” setting.

As reported in the article, "the study found that the use of all disinfectant wipes led to a >5 log10 colony forming units (CFU) reduction of C auris on steel and glass carriers, while non-disinfectant wipes led to a reduction of ~2 log."

Health experts have issued a warning regarding C auris, which has been quietly spreading around the world. The CDC says almost half of those infected die in 90 days, according to reports on CleanLink. Due to the growing and global spread, the CDC has just added C auris to its list of “urgent threats.”

In recent years, superbugs have been a growing threat. As fungus and bacterias become immune to medications, the focus shifts to facility cleanliness, personal hygiene, infection control and a cross-contamination efforts.

The fungus can live on surfaces for weeks if not properly cleaned, CDC officials said.

As cleaning experts are aware, eradicating superbugs is no easy task — it requires specific products and processes.

With supervision from an infectious disease expert, "hospital workers used a special device to spray aerosolized hydrogen peroxide around a room used for a patient with C auris, the theory being that the vapor would scour each nook and cranny. They left the device going for a week. Then they put a 'settle plate' in the middle of the room with a gel at the bottom that would serve as a place for any surviving microbes to grow. Only one organism grew back. C auris."