Genital Candida species detected in samples from women in Melbourne, Australia, before and after treatment with antibiotics

Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, 200 Berkeley Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 4.23). 10/2006; 44(9):3213-7. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.00218-06
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) remains a common cause of morbidity, with three-quarters of women affected during their lifetimes. Use of antibiotics is an acknowledged trigger for VVC, which adversely affects women's physical and emotional health. Knowledge of patterns of genital Candida species-level identification is important for management, as Candida species other than Candida albicans often fail first-line treatment. A community sample of women with no vaginal symptoms, and who were prescribed antibiotics, was recruited into this study, where the incidence of genital colonization by various Candida species was documented, as well as symptoms of VVC plus relevant associations, before and after treatment with antibiotics. Self-collected low vaginal swabs were taken prior to and 8 days after completion of antibiotic treatment, and data on various potential risk factors for VVC were collected simultaneously, with complete data being available for 233 participants. Baseline Candida species colonization was present in 21% of women (95% confidence intervals [CI], 17% to 27%), rising to 37% (95% CI, 31% to 44%) after antibiotic treatment. The primary species detected for either period was C. albicans (73%), with Candida glabrata detected in around 20%. Self-assessed proneness to VVC after antibiotic treatment and baseline colonization with Candida spp. were significantly associated with symptomatic VVC after antibiotic treatment. For microbiologically proven candidiasis, VVC symptoms had a sensitivity of 57% and a specificity of 91%. When physicians prescribe antibiotics, the history of risk of VVC is one issue that physicians should discuss with women, particularly those who are self-identified as being prone to VVC. Furthermore, we recommend that definitive microbiological diagnoses be made for women with recurrent symptoms or those failing initial treatment, to guide appropriate therapy.

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    ABSTRACT: The oestrogenised vagina is colonised by Candida species in at least 20% of women; in late pregnancy and in immunosuppressed patients, this increases to at least 30%. In most cases, Candida albicans is involved. Host factors, particularly local defence mechanisms, gene polymorphisms, allergies, serum glucose levels, antibiotics, psycho-social stress and oestrogens influence the risk of candidal vulvovaginitis. Non-albicans species, particularly Candida glabrata, and in rare cases also Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cause less than 10% of all cases of vulvovaginitis with some regional variation; these are generally associated with milder signs and symptoms than normally seen with a C. albicans-associated vaginitis. Typical symptoms include premenstrual itching, burning, redness and odourless discharge. Although itching and redness of the introitus and vagina are typical symptoms, only 35-40% of women reporting genital itching in fact suffer from vulvovaginal candidosis. Medical history, clinical examination and microscopic examination of vaginal content using 400× optical magnification, or preferably phase contrast microscopy, are essential for diagnosis. In clinically and microscopically unclear cases and in chronically recurring cases, a fungal culture for pathogen determination should be performed. In the event of non-C. albicans species, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) should also be determined. Chronic mucocutaneous candidosis, a rarer disorder which can occur in both sexes, has other causes and requires different diagnostic and treatment measures. Treatment with all antimycotic agents on the market (polyenes such as nystatin; imidazoles such as clotrimazole; and many others including ciclopirox olamine) is easy to administer in acute cases and is successful in more than 80% of cases. All vaginal preparations of polyenes, imidazoles and ciclopirox olamine and oral triazoles (fluconazole, itraconazole) are equally effective (Table ); however, oral triazoles should not be administered during pregnancy according to the manufacturers. C. glabrata is not sufficiently sensitive to the usual dosages of antimycotic agents approved for gynaecological use. In other countries, vaginal suppositories of boric acid (600 mg, 1-2 times daily for 14 days) or flucytosine are recommended. Boric acid treatment is not allowed in Germany and flucytosine is not available. Eight hundred-milligram oral fluconazole per day for 2-3 weeks is therefore recommended in Germany. Due to the clinical persistence of C. glabrata despite treatment with high-dose fluconazole, oral posaconazole and, more recently, echinocandins such as micafungin are under discussion; echinocandins are very expensive, are not approved for this indication and are not supported by clinical evidence of their efficacy. In cases of vulvovaginal candidosis, resistance to C. albicans does not play a significant role in the use of polyenes or azoles. Candida krusei is resistant to the triazoles, fluconazole and itraconazole. For this reason, local imidazole, ciclopirox olamine or nystatin should be used. There are no studies to support this recommendation, however. Side effects, toxicity, embryotoxicity and allergies are not clinically significant. Vaginal treatment with clotrimazole in the first trimester of a pregnancy reduces the rate of premature births. Although it is not necessary to treat a vaginal colonisation of Candida in healthy women, vaginal administration of antimycotics is often recommended in the third trimester of pregnancy in Germany to reduce the rate of oral thrush and napkin dermatitis in healthy full-term newborns. Chronic recurrent vulvovaginal candidosis continues to be treated in intervals using suppressive therapy as long as immunological treatments are not available. The relapse rate associated with weekly or monthly oral fluconazole treatment over 6 months is approximately 50% after the conclusion of suppressive therapy according to current studies. Good results have been achieved with a fluconazole regimen using an initial 200 mg fluconazole per day on 3 days in the first week and a dosage-reduced maintenance therapy with 200 mg once a month for 1 year when the patient is free of symptoms and fungal infection (Table ). Future studies should include Candida autovaccination, antibodies to Candida virulence factors and other immunological experiments. Probiotics with appropriate lactobacillus strains should also be examined in future studies on the basis of encouraging initial results. Because of the high rate of false indications, OTC treatment (self-treatment by the patient) should be discouraged. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
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    ABSTRACT: Vaginal infections in pregnancy are associated with considerable discomfort and adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm delivery, low birth weight and increased infant mortality and also predisposition to HIV/AIDS. This study evaluated the prevalence and factors associated with vulvovaginal candidiasis, trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis among women attending antenatal clinic at a hospital in Nigeria. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered and high vaginal swab samples were obtained from consenting pregnant women. The samples were processed following standard protocols. The prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis was 36%, while those of trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis were 2% and 38%, respectively. Infections were higher in the third trimester and many women admitted to practices that increase risk of these infections. Significant association was found between recent intake of antibiotics and vaginal candidiasis, same association was also found with bacterial vaginosis. Adequate investigation and prompt treatment will reduce the morbidity and attendant effects of these prevalent infections on mother and fetus.
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