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    Since 2016, in Colombia, ongoing transmission of Candida auris has been reported in multiple cities. Here, we provide an updated description of C. auris genomic epidemiology and the dynamics of antifungal resistance in Colombia. We sequenced 99 isolates from C. auris cases with collection dates ranging from June 2016 to January 2021; the resulting sequences coupled with 103 previously generated sequences from C. auris cases were described in a phylogenetic analysis. All C. auris cases were clade IV. Of the 182 isolates with antifungal susceptibility data, 67 (37%) were resistant to fluconazole, and 39 (21%) were resistant to amphotericin B. Isolates predominately clustered by country except for 16 isolates from Bogotá, Colombia, which grouped with isolates from Venezuela. The largest cluster (N = 166 isolates) contained two subgroups. The first subgroup contained 26 isolates, mainly from César; of these, 85% (N = 22) were resistant to fluconazole. The second subgroup consisted of 47 isolates from the north coast; of these, 81% (N = 38) were resistant to amphotericin B. Mutations in the ERG11 and TAC1B genes were identified in fluconazole-resistant isolates. This work describes molecular mechanisms associated with C. auris antifungal resistance in Colombia. Overall, C. auris cases from different geographic locations in Colombia exhibited high genetic relatedness, suggesting continued transmission between cities since 2016. These findings also suggest a lack of or minimal introductions of different clades of C. auris into Colombia. Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat and has caused multiple outbreaks in Colombia. This work discusses the likelihood of introductions and local transmission of C. auris and provides an updated description of the molecular mechanisms associated with antifungal resistance in Colombia. Efforts like this provide information about the evolving C. auris burden that could help guide public health strategies to control C. auris spread.

    Citation

    Elizabeth Misas, Patricia L Escandón, Lalitha Gade, Diego H Caceres, Steve Hurst, Ngoc Le, Brian Min, Meghan Lyman, Carolina Duarte, Nancy A Chow. Genomic epidemiology and antifungal-resistant characterization of Candida auris, Colombia, 2016-2021. mSphere. 2024 Feb 28;9(2):e0057723

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    PMID: 38299868

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