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Can daily bathing with 4% chlorhexidine + daily chlorhexidine wipe for 1 week be effective in decolonizing Candida auris colonization?

BACKGROUND: Herein, it is aimed to present the decolonizing rates of Candida auris colonized cases after daily bathing with 4% chlorhexidine plus daily cleaning with 4% chlorhexidine wipe for 1 week (will be mentioned as DCHX).

METHODS: The study period was from October, 2021, to November, 2022. Inclusion criteria were (i) age > 18, (ii) receiving DCHX, (iii) proven C. auris carrier on auricular, or axillar or inguinal swab surveillance cultures up to 5-day period before DCHX. Cases with three consecutive negative surveillance cultures 3 days apart were considered to be decolonized.

RESULTS: A total of 38 cases [14 female, aged 61.8 ± 15.5 years] fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Six (15.8%), 23 (60.1%), and 22 cases (57.8%) were postauricular, inguinal, and axillary culture positive, respectively. Only three cases (7.9%) were triple culture positive. Nine cases (23.7%) had three consequent negative surveillance cultures after DCHX and were considered to be decolonized. There was no significant difference in decolonization rates of concomitant only antibiotic receiving cohort vs. concomitant antifungal + antibiotic receiving cohort (5/16 vs. 2/8, p = 1) were decolonized similarly. Of the nine C. auris decolonized cases, two developed C. auris infection in 30 days follow-up after decolonization. However, 10 (34.5%) of 29 non-decolonized cases developed C. auris infection (p: 0.450) within 30 days after surveillance culture positivity. Over all cohorts, day 30 mortality was 23.7% (9/38).

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, based on our observational and relatively small uncontrolled series, it appears that DCHX is not very effective in decolonizing C. auris carriers (especially in cases who are C. auris colonized in > 1 areas), although it is not completely ineffective.

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