About this Research Topic
Fungal infections pose major challenges for medicare and serious threats to human health. In fact, fungal pathogens are considered hidden killers of mankind, claiming about 1.4 million lives per year through systemic infections of high morbidity, with mortalities often exceeding 40%. For example, Candida spp are commensal fungi, and intrinsic part of the microbiomes, colonizing mucosal and cutaneous surfaces in 85% of humans. However, they are also opportunistic pathogens and one of the most prevalent causes of life-threatening invasive infections in individuals with malfunctioning immunity. Unfortunately, fungal infections often go unrecognized, owing to unmet challenges in rapid and species-specific clinical diagnostics. Moreover, the emergence and dramatic increase in frequency of antifungal drug resistance for species like C. glabrata, and most recently C. auris, pose additional challenges to efficient therapy.
Candida auris is a newly emerging multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen that was first time reported from Japan in 2009. Within a decade, C. auris has been spreading around the globe, causing widespread hospital outbreaks of candidemia in healthcare settings. The spread of C. auris is facilitated through its easy transmission by skin-to-skin contacts in hospital environments. Thus, Candida auris infections present a serious global health threat for several reasons: First, C. auris infections are difficult to treat since many isolates are multidrug-resistant against the entire antifungal drug arsenal, including azoles, candins and amphotericin B. Second, accurate clinical identification of C. auris skin colonization and possible infections is challenging by using traditional diagnostic methods. Third, this yeast-form pathogen causes persistent colonization of the human body and biotic surfaces in healthcare environments, thus facilitating the inter- and intrahospital clonal transmission. Finally, recent reports of antifungal pan-resistant isolates from numerous countries highlight the unmet challenges of treating C. auris-associated infections.
However (despite its clinical relevance), our understanding of C. auris pathophysiology and virulence, its response to human immune surveillance, the issues around proper clinical diagnostics, or the molecular basis of multiple antifungal resistance, is in its infancy.
Considering the global threats posed by C. auris infections, and the broad general interest, we, therefore, propose a timely Frontiers Research Topic, dedicated to provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art discussion on the short history, the present and the future of C. auris as a human fungal pathogen. The Research Topic will cover the current research from epidemiology, pathophysiology, mechanisms of antifungal drug resistance, clinical diagnosis, and host immune surveillance of C. auris . It will offer a timely update for all researchers engaged in fungal pathogenesis research, to accentuate their work of strong impact for publication in Frontiers. We expect to solicit contributions from leaders in the fungal pathogen field. To increase the impact, we welcome a balanced mix of Original Research, Reviews, Brief Research Reports as well as Opinion articles.
Keywords: Candida auris, Multidrug-resistant fungus, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, Clinical diagnosis
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.