Darin Wiesner, a professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who studies fungal disease, can comment on the surge of drug-resistant fungal infections at medical facilities across the US.

The following quotes from Wiesner are available to journalists covering the issue.

  • Several aspects of C. auris should be concerning to immunocompromised patients, including the elderly and chronically ill, that receive care in a healthcare setting.
  • The fungus can access parts of an immunocompromised patient's body that cause serious disease and make the treatment extremely difficult. C. auris is resistant to a few of the already small list of available antifungal medications.
  • At-risk populations congregate at healthcare facilities, C. auris tends to accumulate in areas that sick patients frequent, and the cycle repeats.
  • C. auris can grow on the skin and in nasal cavities of caregivers, as well as on surfaces of equipment and furniture at healthcare facilities.
  • Currently, there are only three classes of anti-fungal drugs. C. auris is completely resistant to one of them (azoles) and is evolving resistance to the others (polyenes and echinocandins). Like multi-drug resistant bacteria (e.g., MRSA), C. auris poses a serious risk of depleting treatment options and, consequently, increasing both the cost of treatment and the mortality of infected patients. Thankfully, developing new anti-fungal drugs is a very active area of investigation among academic researchers.