First Case of COVID-19 Positive Candida auris Fungemia in Turkey

Bolukbasi Y., Genc G., Orhun G., KUŞKUCU M. A., Cagatay A., Onel M., ...More

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.55, no.4, pp.648-655, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.20219716
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.648-655
  • Keywords: Fungal infection, Candida, Candida auris, candidemia, bloodstream infection
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Candida auris is a species of fungus that has gained importance in recent years owing to its ability to cause hospital infections and epidemics, resistant to antifungal agents and disinfection processes and frequently misidentified by commercial systems. Hospital outbreaks caused by C.auris have been reported from some countries. It has been determined that C.auris has lower virulence than Candida albicans; however, it is associated with high mortality rates in immunocompromised individuals. An increase in the incidence of invasive fungal infections which can lead to serious complications and death, has been identified in severe coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) patients or immunocompromised individuals with underlying disease. Studies demonstrated an increase in the frequency of C.auris isolation in COVID-19 patients with candidemia. In this report, the first case of COVID-19 positive C.auris fungemia detected in Turkey was presented. A 71-year-old male patient with a history of myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, donation of a single kidney and lobectomy surgery due to lung cancer was hospitalized in the pandemic thoracic surgery service due to the findings consistent with viral pneumonia on thoracic computed tomography. Favipiravir 2 x 600 mg and intravenous dexamethasone 1 x 6 mg therapy was administered. The patient tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction, and severe involvement of the left lung was detected in the following days. Antibiotics were administered, followed by insertion of a right jugular vein catheter and initation of tocilizumab. The patient was transferred to the intensive care unit due to increased respiratory distress. Yeast growth was detected in the patient's hemoculture. The yeast strain could not be identified using API ID 32C (bioMerieux, France) (Sacchromyces kluyveri, Candida sake, unacceptable profile), but was identified as C.auris using the VITEK MALDI TOF MS (bioMerieux, France) (99.9%) system and confirmed by sequencing. The minimum inhibitor concentration values were detected as 3 mu g/ml for amphotericin B; > 256 mu g/ml for fluconazole; 0.19 mu g/ml for voriconazole; 0.19 mu g/ml for itraconazole; 0.016 mu g/ml for posaconazole; 1 mu g/ml for caspofungin and 0.094 mu g/ml for anidulafungin by using the antibiotic gradient method. The patient's initial treatment comprised meropenem 3 x 1 g, vancomycin 2 x 1 g, caspofungin 1 x 70 mg, and continued as caspofungine 1 x 50 mg after the loading dose, and vancomycin 1 x 1 g/48 hours from the third day of treatment. The patient died on the ninth day after developing candidemia. The present case is the first case of fungemia caused by C.auris in a COVID-19 positive patient in Turkey, and it emphasizes the need of caution for fungemia due to C.auris in intensive care units in our country which has a high COVID-19 incidence.