NPR posted a piece on the emergence of a ‘new’ pathogenic yeast, Candida auris, appearing in United States hospitals. This yeast is harder to control than other Candida spp., mainly because it already has resistance to multiple anti-fungal medicines.
The yeast was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and has since been detected in ten other counties around the globe. C. auris appears opportunistic, infecting already hospitalized people with damaged immune systems. Luckily, it has only been positively identified 13 times and all of the cases responded to an anti-fungal compound. Four infected people did die, however the CDC was not able to determine if the yeast caused their deaths or if their underlying illnesses had progressed to that point.
The NPR article also states that C. auris is only distinguishable from other yeasts, such as less problematic Candida spp. or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, by molecular techniques. This can be problematic because delays in identification of a drug resistant yeast could cause fatalities or larger outbreaks in a hospital. The CDC is trying to spread awareness of this new infectious agent and has set up a fact sheet on their website
A culture of Candida auris from the CDC fact sheet. http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/candida-auris-qanda.html
Link to NPR article: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/11/04/500671640/first-cases-of-new-infectious-fungus-reported-in-u-s
More information from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/candida-auris.html11.07.16