Background: candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant and highly virulent yeast that spreads easily among patients.
Aims: to describe the characteristics of candidemia caused by C. auris in the southeast of Spain (Autonomous Community of Valencia - ACV) through a 5-year population-based study.
Methods: an analysis of all the episodes of candidemia diagnosed in the ACV, with approximately 4,500,000 inhabitants, during 2013-2017, was done. Data were obtained from the Epidemiological Surveillance Valencian Network, a network that collects all the microbiological data from the hospitals in the study region.
Results: based on the records, 1.9% of the isolates recovered from the positive blood cultures (corresponding to 1789 patients) were yeasts. This implies an annual rate of 7.09 cases/100,000 inhabitants. Of the 23 yeast species isolated, Candida albicans was the most frequent (37.3%), showing a higher frequency than Candida parapsilosis (28.4%) and Candida glabrata (15.6%) (p < 0.0001). It is remarkable the emergence of C. auris during 2016 and 2017, as this species became the fourth more prevalent in 2016 (9.2%), and the third in 2017 (15.7%). Fungemia was more common in hospitals with >500 beds (63.3% versus 36.7% in small hospitals) (p < 0.0001), and C. auris was mostly isolated in large hospitals (8.5% versus 0.3%); its incidence was higher in autumn and among the age group of 65-84 years.
Conclusions: the information about the local epidemiology of candidemia is essential in order to decide the best empirical treatment approach. This study reports the novel presence of C. auris in large hospitals. This pathogen has usually resistance to several antifungals and causes severe fungemia, so the results of this work reveal the need to monitor the presence of this species systematically.