Ongoing Challenges with Healthcare-Associated Candida auris Outbreaks in Oman

Amal Al Maani, Hema Paul, Azza Al-Rashdi, Adil Al Wahaibi, Amina Al-Jardani, Asma M Ali Al Abri, Mariam A H AlBalushi, Seif Al-Abri, Mohammed Al Reesi, Ali Al Maqbali, Nashwa M Al Kasaby, Theun de Groot, Jacques F Meis, Abdullah M S Al-Hatmi

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Candida auris has emerged in the past decade as a multi-drug resistant public health threat causing health care outbreaks. Here we report epidemiological, clinical, and microbiological investigations of a C. auris outbreak in a regional Omani hospital between April 2018 and April 2019. The outbreak started in the intensive care areas (intensive care unit (ICU), coronary care unit (CCU), and high dependency unit) but cases were subsequently diagnosed in other medical and surgical units. In addition to the patients' clinical and screening samples, environmental swabs from high touch areas and from the hands of 35 staff were collected. All the positive samples from patients and environmental screening were confirmed using MALDI-TOF, and additional ITS-rDNA sequencing was done for ten clinical and two environmental isolates. There were 32 patients positive for C. auris of which 14 (43.8%) had urinary tract infection, 11 (34.4%) had candidemia, and 7 (21.8%) had asymptomatic skin colonization. The median age was 64 years (14-88) with 17 (53.1%) male and 15 (46.9%) female patients. Prior to diagnosis, 21 (65.6%) had been admitted to the intensive care unit, and 11 (34.4%) had been nursed in medical or surgical wards. The crude mortality rate in our patient's cohort was 53.1. Two swabs collected from a ventilator in two different beds in the ICU were positive for C. auris. None of the health care worker samples were positive. Molecular typing showed that clinical and environmental isolates were genetically similar and all belonged to the South Asian C. auris clade I. Most isolates had non-susceptible fluconazole (100%) and amphotericin B (33%) minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs), but had low echinocandin and voriconazole MICs. Despite multimodal infection prevention and control measures, new cases continued to appear, challenging all the containment efforts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2019


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