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Candida auris—a highly concerning fungal pathogen that has captured the attention of the infectious disease field. As outbreaks continue to occur across the country, our commitment to leveraging the power of bioinformatics and genomic epidemiology becomes increasingly vital.

C. auris has proven to be a formidable adversary due to its remarkable ability to develop resistance to multiple classes of antifungal drugs. This poses significant challenges in managing infections caused by this elusive pathogen. To unravel its secrets and gain insights into the mechanisms of resistance, we have focused our efforts on understanding specific genes associated with drug resistance.

Among these genes, FKS1, ERG11, and FUR1 have emerged as key players. Mutations in FKS1 confer resistance to echinocandins, a critical class of antifungal drugs. Alterations in ERG11 impact the efficacy of azoles, another vital group of antifungals. Additionally, mutations in FUR1 can lead to resistance against flucytosine, an important antifungal agent. Understanding the impact of these genetic alterations is paramount in devising effective treatment strategies.

At Theiagen, we are at the forefront of bioinformatics-driven analysis of C. auris genomes. Through our innovative TheiaEuk pipeline, we leverage advanced compute infrastructure and industry standard bioinformatics tools to detect and characterize these resistance-conferring mutations. By doing so, we provide invaluable information to public health officials, empowering them to make informed decisions and optimize public health policies to mitigate the strain placed on our nation by this urgent health threat.

Our efforts extend beyond the immediate outbreak investigations, as we recognize the importance of global surveillance and epidemiological studies. By harnessing the power of genomic epidemiology, we can identify emerging patterns of resistance, track the transmission of strains, and contribute to the development of public health interventions. This knowledge enables us to bolster public health strategies and mitigate the impact of C. auris outbreaks on a larger scale.

As we face the challenges presented by C. auris and its escalating outbreaks, our commitment to advancing the field of genomics and epidemiology remains unwavering. Through our collective efforts, we aim to stay one step ahead of this resilient pathogen, safeguarding the well-being of communities worldwide.