NYMC Faculty Publications

Utility of Chromagar™ Candida Plus for Presumptive Identification of Candida Auris From Surveillance Samples

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Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology


Candida auris is a nosocomial fungal pathogen of prime importance due to its global emergence and rapid spread in healthcare facilities worldwide. One important concern is that routine, conventional methods fail to identify C. auris. While molecular and protein-based assays accurately detect/identify C. auris, these methods are time-consuming, expensive, and require expertise. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to assess the potential use of a novel chromogenic medium, CHROMagar™ Candida Plus, as an economical alternative to expensive and laborious diagnostic tests. We compared CHROMagar™ Candida Plus with the standard enrichment (salt Sabouraud Dulcitol broth) medium to test the recovery efficiency of C. auris from surveillance samples. We also tested CHROMagar™ Candida Plus for its ability to distinguish C. auris from other yeast species. One hundred surveillance samples were cultured on CHROMagar™ Candida Plus and Dulcitol broth and incubated at 37 °C and 40 °C, respectively. Additionally, 32 Candida and yeast species were cultured on CHROMagar™ Candida Plus at 37 °C for three days to rule out any close resemblance to C. auris. Of 100 surveillance samples tested, 69 yielded presumptive positive C. auris exhibiting creamy pink colonies with a blue halo on CHROMagar™ Candida Plus within three days of incubation, and MALDI-TOF MS confirmed all by day 4. On the other hand, 69 of 100 surveillance samples yielded turbidity in Dulcitol broth by days 3-14 with final MALDI identification by days 5 to 17. Both media failed to identify one sample each, resulting in assay sensitivity and specificity of 99% and 97%, respectively. Of Candida and yeast species tested, 75-80% of C. metapsilosis and C. orthospilosis were misidentified as C. auris. However, previous studies indicated that these species are rarely detected in surveillance screening of C. auris. Naganishia diffluens also resembled C. auris, although it required different temperature growth (30 °C). In conclusion, CHROMagar™ Candida Plus provides rapid presumptive identification of C. auris. It would be another valuable tool in surveillance efforts to control the spread of C. auris in healthcare.