Notable Infection-Causing Fungi
Cryptococcus neoformans is a yeast that can live in plants and animals. It is found throughout the world in soil, on decaying wood, and in bird droppings. When C. neoformans spores are inhaled they can cause pulmonary infection and can progress to disseminated infection in any part of the body. C. neoformans predominantly affects patients with immunocompromising conditions. Cryptococcal meningitis occurs when the disseminated fungi spread to the central nervous system. It causes similar symptoms as other infectious meningitis etiologies, which can make it difficult to diagnose. However, unlike other infectious meningitis etiologies, which can be highly contagious, fungal meningitis doesn’t spread between people.
The BioFire® FilmArray® Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel takes about an hour to detect Cryptococcus neoformans/gattii in addition to 6 bacteria and 7 viruses that most commonly cause meningitis and encephalitis. Determining the probable cause of central nervous system infection quickly can help healthcare providers use their resources more efficiently, including hospital beds and antimicrobials.
Candida auris is a fungus that can be carried on the skin and inside the body without causing problems in most people. It is likeliest to cause infection, including meningitis and bloodstream infections, in patients with weakened immune systems. Candida species are the most common cause of fungal sepsis. If one enters the bloodstream or internal organs, it can cause a dangerous and invasive infection that may lead to sepsis. The CDC considers Candida auris to be an especially urgent threat because clinical cases of antifungal-resistant Candida auris have been reported.
The BioFire® Blood Culture Identification 2 Panel accurately identifies Candida auris—as well as simultaneously targeting 32 other yeast and bacterial targets, and 10 antimicrobial resistance genes—directly from positive blood culture in about an hour. Rapidly diagnosing the probable cause of sepsis is critical to optimizing life-saving antimicrobial therapy.