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Human life expectancy has significantly increased lately, thanks to the great medical advances and increased health expenditure across the globe. However, potent microbial agents are evolving rapidly, too. Superbug threat seems to be looming larger day by day owing to the continued antibiotic abuse worldwide thereby posing challenge to the medical and research fraternity.
Profile of Candida auris: Candida auris (C. auris) is the latest of the superbug scare with characteristics that have left the global medical fraternity, perplexed and worried. Isolated from an ear infection case in 2009, C. auris has emerged as a potent human pathogen with more than 30% mortality rate, mainly targeting immunity compromised patients. C. auris has simultaneous emerged in three continents with each clade genetically different than the other. Additionally, it exhibits high persistence in the environment and resistance to all classes of anti-fungal available, thereby raising alarms for quick search of an effective bio-agent against the species.
C. auris – complexities involved: Besides the high pathogenicity exhibited, factors associated with spread and scare of the C. auris infection can be largely attributed to mistaken identification/ delayed identification of the causative agents in patient isolates. Other Candida sp. like Candida tropicalis, Candida albicans also exhibit pathogenicity and hence necessitates a need for selective and differential isolation of C. auris from other Candida sp. Current technologies available for identification of microbes rely on the MALDI TOF MS technique which generates characteristic fingerprint of microbial macromolecules based on mass to charge ratio.
These patterns being unique to each entity, warrant authentic identification of given isolates with the help of a pre-loaded ‘organism fingerprint’ database. However, C. auris tends to outsmart technological developments in this respect, with multiple instances of mis-identification of C. auris as other species of Candida especially C. haemulonii,
C. duobushaemulonii, Candida sake and as Rhodotorula glutinis. To add to the patient trouble, MALDI TOF MS based systems are high-throughput, high priced sophisticated systems, not regularly available at all diagnostic laboratories. This severely restricts and delays identification of C. auris, a crucial input for quick treatment of affected patients.
HiMedia brings relief: HiMedia has been revolutionizing the field of Microbiology since the year 1976, launching range of microbial culture media products to ease the task of clinicians with respect to accuracy in microbial identification. HiMedia boasts the largest range of chromogenic bacterial media which helps differentiate amongst species easing the diagnosis process to a great extent. Staying true to its mission, we at HiMedia have once again raised the ante in the fight against this superbug fungal threat by launching a special selective chromogenic media which selectively helps the growth of C. auris over other Candida species. We believe this will hasten the diagnosis of C. auris thereby ensuring faster treatments to patients and better recovery. HiMedia remains committed to continued advances in the diagnostic field.
Spokesperson: Dr. Rahul Warke, Ph. D Director Research and Development (Microbiology), HiMedia Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.