If you’re a health-care FM concerned about the emerging fungus C. auris, here are the first products EPA says can help fight it

by Brianna Crandall — March 2, 2020 — The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the availability of 11 products that can be used to disinfect surfaces against an emerging fungus called Candida auris (C. auris). C. auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant fungus that can cause severe infections and that spreads easily between hospitalized patients and nursing home residents. The new products EPA is registering provide hospitals and other health-care facilities with the tools and information needed to help combat this emerging global health threat and help decrease patient infections.

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, stated:

EPA, together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our other federal partners, play a critical role in ensuring health-care providers have the latest, most effective products to protect public health, ensure patient safety and save lives. Disinfecting surfaces is one of the best ways to stop the spread of C. auris infections, and EPA’s efforts are helping to ensure that health-care providers have products that can effectively reduce the spread of the dangerous fungus.

Prior to these 11 products being registered, there were no antimicrobial pesticides registered specifically for use against C. auris. EPA worked collaboratively with CDC to ensure product effectiveness against C. auris.

Tom Chiller, MD, chief of CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, pointed out:

The global emergence of C. auris in recent years is concerning for a number of reasons — it causes severe and sometimes deadly illness, it’s very hard to treat, and it’s difficult to prevent it from spreading within healthcare facilities. We are encouraged by the progress being made to study new agents and methods for eliminating C. auris from surfaces in healthcare environments, and we need to continue to be vigilant and respond rapidly to be able to control this organism.

Together both agencies are partnering to reduce the spread of C. auris through rapidly identifying and implementing effective infection control measures. EPA is responsible for regulating hospital disinfectants and provided the test methods and guidance for developing efficacy data against C. auris.

In addition to the new EPA-registered products, disinfectants with an EPA claim for C. difficile (List K) have been used effectively against C. auris. View CDC’s web page on infection prevention and control on what products to use if registered products are unavailable.

View information from EPA on C. auris.

View information from CDC on C. auris.