WVU Medicine detects emerging treatment-resistant pathogen

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Officials from WVU Medicine report an emerging treatment-resistant pathogen has been detected at one of their facilities.

A statement released Monday said:
“An inpatient has tested positive for C. auris, an emerging pathogen that is spreading in the U.S. This pathogen can be resistant to antifungals and harder to treat. We are working with the health department and following CDC guidance to identify patients who have been exposed, provide testing, and take precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the pathogen.”

The pathogen was found in several contiguous states to West Virginia in the spring of 2023, but this week became one of the last state in the southeastern part of the United States to confirm it.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the C. auris (Candida auris) can cause severe illness and spread easily among patients in healthcare facilities. Generally, it does not affect healthy people, but it can be transmitted even by people that don’t get sick. It does pose a significant threat because antifungal treatments are not effective, and it can be hard to identify with lab tests.

The CDC says that symptoms vary depending on the location and severity of the infection but are often similar to the symptoms of bacterial infections.