Multidrug-resistant Candida auris: PHAC interim guidanceJul112017

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has recently been informed of a case of multidrug-resistant Candida auris. Whole genome sequence analysis performed by the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) was consistent with C. auris. Further analyses to compare the isolate with global strains are pending. A case report will be published in the Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR).

Candida auris is an emerging fungal infection that can cause invasive healthcare-associated infections, including bloodstream infections, wound infections, and otitis media. It was first reported in Japan in 2009 as an infectious agent in a patient’s ear. Information available to date indicates that cases of C. auris have occurred in at least nine other countries including Korea, India, Pakistan, Kuwait, South Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This emerging AMR pathogen may have potential implications for healthcare facilities and for pubic health laboratories. C. auris can be transmitted in healthcare settings with reports of severe illness in hospitalized patients.  Of concern is that C. auris can persist on surfaces in healthcare environment sand may spread between patients, unlike most other Candida species. The precise mode of transmission is unknown. Adherence to infection prevention and control practices and environmental cleaning may help prevent transmission in healthcare settings. Some C. auris strains have shown resistance to all 3 major classes of antifungal medicines (i.e., are MDR).

You can read the interim guidance in this document from PHAC (Download PDF).

You can read about the first reported case in this CCDR article.



Paul Webber: recipient of IPAC-Canada’s 2017 Moira Walker Award for for International ServiceJul102017

Paul Webber, the creator of Webber Training and Teleclass Education Africa, is the recipient of IPAC-Canada’s 2017 Moira Walker Award for for International Service.

Paul on his international work:

“The organization that I helped to create 15 years ago is Webber Training Inc. The 3-fold mandate of the original Teleclass Education was then, and still remains:
(1) To bring the best possible infection control information,
(2) to the widest possible audience,
(3) with the fewest barriers to access.

Teleclass Education has no paid employees, and is accessed by healthcare professionals in almost every country on the planet. The global version of Teleclass Education is funded by the World Health Organization, as well as by unrestricted grants from other NGOs and companies, and by registration fees. Teleclass Education was never created to make money (indeed it has never even come close), and the annual shortfall is covered by my wife and myself. Members in low resource countries or regions are, and have always been, provided free access to all Teleclass Education materials.

In African hospitals, there is very little opportunity to learn about infection control, and the results can be horrific, as we saw with Ebola. The Infection Control Africa Network , Stellenbosch University (Cape Town), and Webber Training Inc. created Teleclass Education Africa to bring infection control courses to a wider African audience, in each of the 5 primary African languages.

In 2012, at the annual conference of the Infection Control Africa Network in Cape Town, the concept of Teleclass Education Africa was proposed. In late 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed. The Ebola crisis understandably caused a delay in the development of the initiative, but the web site has been completed and content is starting to be created and translated.

Funds are used to pay for translation of lecture slides and lecture recording ($6000 per lecture) and for management of the program web site. Funds are administered by Infection Control African Network (registered charity number 2012/079606/08).

To date, I personally have funded all expenses related to the creation of the web site and the translations. The lectures are being provided by Stellenbosch University. What is provided includes PowerPoint slides and a recording for each slide. Languages Africa, of Kenya, provides translations, as well as Dr. Jean-Paul Ngandu of Namibia.

The cost to expand the program is more than I can carry on my own, and besides that, it is important for the long term survival of the program that there be a larger pool of people invested in this important initiative. I invite you to watch the video, and if you feel inclined to donate, you can do via GoFundMe. Or you can help by spreading the word!”



PICNet presentations at IPAC-Canada ConferenceJun272017

Bruce, Guanghong, and Helen presented at this year’s IPAC-Canada conference; you can download their slides via the links below.


PICNet staff at IPAC-Canada ConferenceJun162017

All PICNet staff will be away from the office June 19-23.

For any urgent infection control issues, you can contact Linda Hoang, PICNet Co-Medical Lead, at
Any media-related enquiries should be directed to the PHSA Media Pager at 778-867-7472.

Bruce and Guanghong will be back in the office on June 26, and Joanne, Helen, and Romi on June 27.