Emerging pathogens are drug-resistant germs responsible for deadly outbreaks that happen anywhere in the world. One of the newest of these so-called superbugs is Candida auris, a yeast (a type of fungus) which can be especially lethal to sick people with weakened immune systems, such as hospitalized patients.
More than 35 percent of patients who develop C. auris infections die within 30 days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February 2020, there are nearly 1000 confirmed cases of C. auris infections in the U.S., including 288 in Illinois.
The CDC considers C. auris a serious threat because it is:
- multi-drug resistant (4% are resistant to all three main classes of antifungals);
- difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods (which can lead to delayed or improper treatment); and
- has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings
Medline’s Microbiology R&D Laboratory stays on the pulse of C. auris by actively investigating its growth and transfer characteristics in order to fully understand the mechanism of its spread in healthcare facilities. Among other things, researchers are exploring how long C. auris can survive and how quickly it transfers between clinically relevant surfaces, such as stainless steel, aluminum, porcelain, and medical devices. The team is also studying the biofilms created by C. auris. Biofilms are slimy buildup of microorganisms that acts as a physical barrier around germs; their formation may make it harder for drugs and disinfectants to penetrate and kill germs.
To conduct their studies, Medline’s researchers use in-house methods like biofilm testing, exposure/transfer/survivability testing, and efficacy testing of existing products and those under development.
Teams within R&D are also:
- Developing new formulations and products to support emerging infection prevention needs, and to improve the patient and caregiver experience
- Improving existing products to ensure Medline products are at the forefront of infection prevention
- Working to ensure products are safe and effective for their entire shelf life.
They also integrate their knowledge with the latest research from the CDC and other organizations. Together, insights are aimed at helping Medline identify ways of developing new solutions and products more effective against the deadly fungus to add to their long line of infection prevention solutions.
Medline has existing solutions for combating emerging pathogens like C. auris. The company’s Micro-Kill Bleach Germicidal Bleach Wipes became the first product ever approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to kill C. auris on hard, non-porous surfaces in hospitals and clinics within two minutes of contact time.*
“What we do here in the labs at Medline has a direct impact on what is being performed in healthcare facilities, not just in North America, but also around the world,” said Medline R&D specialist Tyler Zanon. “We want to make sure that we’re on the forefront of science, and for anything that’s going to pop up in healthcare systems, we have something that can combat it, and at the same time, keep those professionals and patients safe.”
Find out more about Medline’s industry-leading, comprehensive infection prevention approach.
*First to market claim substantiated through confirmation that no other products on the CDC’s “K” list, which they recommend for disinfection of C. auris, have an EPA-approved claim against C. auris.