Prevalence of Non-Albicans Candida Infections in Women with Recurrent Vulvovaginal Symptomatology


Background: Candida vulvovaginitis is one of the most frequently diagnosed conditions in women’s care practices. Historically, 90% of cultured yeast species were C. albicans. However, due to a variety of interventions, the proportion of non-albicans Candida (NAC) infections appears to be increasing. We sought to estimate the current prevalence of Candida vulvovaginitis and the species-specific distribution of such infections in recurrent cases. Methods: Women with recurrent vulvovaginal symptomatology referred to an Obstetrics and Gynecology practice were tested by genital fungus culture, Candida-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or both between July 2010 and February 2013. Results: A total of 103 women were tested. Mean age was 45.6 years. Including only their most recent positive test result, 29.1% (30/103) of women tested positive for Candida by any of the above testing measures. Of those, 50% (15/30) tested positive for C. albicans and 50% (15/30) tested positive for a NAC species. Across all visits, 60% (18/30) tested positive for C. albicans, 56.7% (17/30) tested positive for NAC, and 16.7% (5/30) tested positive for both a C. albicans and a NAC species. Among all isolated NAC species, 28.6% (6/21) were determined to be C. glabrata, 23.8% (5/21) C. krusei, 23.8% (5/21) C. parapsilosis, and 23.8% (5/21) other Candida species. Conclusion: Approximately 30% of women with recurrent vulvovaginal symptomatology have detectable Candida strains and it appears that NAC species may cause half of all these infections. This is imperative because NAC infections are usually more difficult to diagnose and are resistant to most treatments.


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J. Mintz and M. Martens, "Prevalence of Non-Albicans Candida Infections in Women with Recurrent Vulvovaginal Symptomatology," Advances in Infectious Diseases, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 238-242. doi: 10.4236/aid.2013.34035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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