Recent lab findings demonstrate that Silverlon® antimicrobial dressings effectively kill Candida Auris (C. Auris), the emerging “superbug” causing invasive, potentially fatal human infection in more than 30 countries, including the United States. Silverlon achieved a “5 log reduction,” or a 99.999% reduction of the C. Auris organism in just three hours. The rate accelerated to 99.9999%, or a “6 log reduction,” after 24 hours.
Argentum Medical, pioneers in the use of silver-plated technology and makers of Silverlon, commissioned Microbiological Consultants, an independent FDA-registered pharmaceutical testing laboratory, to establish if its metallic wound dressings can destroy C. Auris yeast. Lab findings demonstrate that the number of C. Auris cells doubled in the control group, while the Silverlon test group dropped to 0 in 24 hours. Both samples originally contained 17,500,000 cells.
“Results from our testing indicate our silver-plated nylon dressings can quickly kill C. Auris,” said Amanda Budak, PhD, RN clinical director of Argentum Medical. “We are pleased that lab results show Silverlon to be an effective tool against this dangerous pathogen.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), C. Auris is “an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat.” Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated 40% of patients who develop a C. Auris bloodstream infection die within 30 days, although other factors probably caused many of those deaths because the affected population was chronically ill. C. Auris is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections and is difficult and expensive to identify. In addition, it causes outbreaks in health care settings to an extent not seen with other Candida species. And even after industrial cleaning, hospital room surfaces can remain contaminated with this fungus well after a patient has been discharged.
Despite its name, “Auris,” which gets its name from where it was first found in 2009 – in the ear of an elderly woman in Japan (“Auris” is Latin for ear) – C. Auris more commonly triggers bloodstream and abdominal infections than ear infections. Researchers also noted that most C. Auris infections affect people who are already ill in medical centers, nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Silver has been employed as an antimicrobial for millennia. Silver is not an eye or skin irritant, skin sensitizer, human carcinogen or mutagen. True silver allergy is very rare and true resistance has never become clinically significant.
The CDC recommends screening patients for C. Auris that have met one or more of the following criteria:
- Extended stay in a long-term care facility
- Presence of identified C. Auris in a specific hospital unit
- Hospital stays abroad in the last six months
- Patients with demonstrated bacterial resistance