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1.  Reversible Deficiency of Antimicrobial Polypeptides in Bacterial Vaginosis  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(10):5693-5702.
Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition associated with increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus infections. In contrast, vulvovaginal candidiasis has a much weaker association with sexually transmitted diseases. We found that vaginal lavage fluid from women with bacterial vaginosis is deficient in antimicrobial polypeptides and antimicrobial activity compared to fluid from healthy women or women with vulvovaginal candidiasis. Effective treatment normalized the concentrations of antimicrobial polypeptides in both bacterial vaginosis and in vulvovaginal candidiasis, suggesting that the abnormalities were a result of the diseases. Unlike in vulvovaginal candidiasis, the neutrophil attractant chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) was not increased in bacterial vaginosis, accounting for low concentrations of neutrophil-derived defensins in vaginal fluid. In organotypic cultures of human vaginal epithelium containing dendritic cells, treatment with Lactobacillus jensenii, a typical vaginal resident, induced the synthesis of IL-8 mRNA and the epithelial human β-defensin-2 mRNA, but a typical bacterial vaginosis pathogen, Gardnerella vaginalis, had no effect. When the two bacteria were combined, Gardnerella vaginalis did not interfere with the immunostimulatory effect of Lactobacillus jensenii. The loss of normal immunostimulatory flora in bacterial vaginosis is thus associated with a local deficiency of multiple innate immune factors, and this deficiency could predispose individuals to sexually transmitted diseases.
PMCID: PMC1594936  PMID: 16988245
2.  Candidiasis (vulvovaginal) 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:0815.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is estimated to be the second most common cause of vaginitis after bacterial vaginosis. Candida albicans accounts for 85% to 90% of cases.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of drug treatments for acute vulvovaginal candidiasis in non-pregnant symptomatic women? What are the effects of alternative or complementary treatments for acute vulvovaginal candidiasis in non-pregnant symptomatic women? What are the effects of treating a male sexual partner to resolve symptoms and prevent recurrence in non-pregnant women with symptomatic acute vulvovaginal candidiasis? What are the effects of alternative or complementary treatments for symptomatic recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis in non-pregnant women? What are the effects of treating a male sexual partner in non-pregnant women with symptomatic recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis? What are the effects of treating asymptomatic non-pregnant women with a positive swab for candidiasis? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to March 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 61 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: alternative or complementary treatments; douching; drug treatments; garlic; intravaginal preparations (boric acid, nystatin, imidazoles, tea tree oil); oral fluconazole; oral itraconazole; treating a male sexual partner; and yoghurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus (oral or vaginal).
Key Points
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is characterised by vulval itching and abnormal "cheese-like" or watery vaginal discharge. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is estimated to be the second most common cause of vaginitis after bacterial vaginosis. Candida albicans accounts for 85% to 90% of cases.Risk factors include pregnancy, diabetes mellitus, and systemic antibiotics. Incidence increases with the onset of sexual activity, but associations with different types of contraceptives are unclear.Recurrent symptoms are common, but are caused by candidiasis in only one third of cases.
Intravaginal imidazoles reduce symptoms of acute vulvovaginal candidiasis in non-pregnant women. Intravaginal imidazoles (butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole) reduce symptoms compared with placebo and all seem to have similar efficacy compared with each other. RCTs suggest that single-dose regimens may be as effective as multiple-dose regimens.Intravaginal imidazoles and oral fluconazole or itraconazole seem equally effective in treating acute attacks.
Intravaginal nystatin reduces symptoms compared with placebo, but we don't know how it compares with intravaginal imidazoles or oral fluconazole or itraconazole.
The benefits of other intravaginal treatments, to treat acute attacks or prevent recurrence, remain unclear, and some may be associated with serious adverse effects. We found no RCT evidence assessing intravaginal boric acid or tea tree oil.We found no RCT evidence assessing garlic or yoghurt, used intravaginally or orally.We found no RCT evidence on efficacy of douching, but it is associated with serious adverse effects such as PID and infections, endometritis, and ectopic pregnancy. Oral fluconazole and itraconazole are likely to be beneficial in preventing recurrence of infection. Treating the woman's male sexual partner does not reduce symptoms or prevent recurrence in the woman.
PMCID: PMC2907618  PMID: 21718579
3.  Prevalence of Bacterial Vaginosis and Impact of Genital Hygiene Practices in Non-Pregnant Women in Zanjan, Iran 
Oman Medical Journal  2009;24(4):288-293.
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common causes of reproductive tract infection (RTI), it’s prevalence is influenced by many factors. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and impact of sexual and genital hygienie practices and socio-demographic characteristics in non pregnant women of Zanjan province in Iran.
500 non-pregnant, married women were randomly selected for this study. This is a descriptive-analytic study conducted among non-pregnant referred to primry healthcare centres in Zanjan between May to August 2006. Following gynecological examination and vaginal sample collection by physicians, bacterial vaginosis was confirmed by Nugent criteria, tricomoniasis by direct microscopy and candidiasis by direct microscopic observation and evaluation of presenting clinical signs of vulvovaginitis.
The prevalence of RTI was 27.6%. Out of which 16.2% was devoted to bacterial vaginosis (BV), 6.6% to trichomoniasis and 4.8% to Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). In contrast to coital hygiene, there was a significant correlation between menstrual and individual vaginal hygiene and BV (p<0.01 and p<0.001) respectively. There was a significant correlation between BV and education (p<0.025), number of pregnancy (p<0.05) and method of contraception (p<0.005). No significant correlation was observed between age, age of marriage and abortion.
The data obtained suggests that the prevalence rate of BV is relatively high and could be affected by hygiene behaviors and certain socio-demographic characteristics, which indicate the need for comprehensive, scheduled programs of healthcare educations, aimed at reducing BV prevalence.
PMCID: PMC3243866  PMID: 22216382
4.  Prevalence and Risk Factors for Bacterial Vaginosis and Other Vulvovaginitis in a Population of Sexually Active Adolescents from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil 
Bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and genital candidiasis are considered the main etiologies of vulvovaginitis. Few studies estimate the prevalence of vulvovaginitis among adolescents, especially in Brazil. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and main risk factors associated with bacterial vaginosis and genital infection by C. albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis among a group of adolescents from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. One hundred sexually active adolescents followed at an adolescent gynecology clinic were included. Endocervical and vaginal samples were obtained during gynecological examination. Nugent criteria were applied for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis. For Candida albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis detection, culture in Sabouraud agar plates and Papanicolaou cytology were used, respectively. The mean age of participants was 16.6 ± 1.6 years. The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis was 20% (95% CI 12–28) and of genital infection by Candida was 22% (95% CI 14–30). Vaginal cytology detected Trichomonas vaginalis in one patient. Alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use (P = 0.02) and multiple lifetime partners were statistically related to bacterial vaginosis (P = 0.01). The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and genital candidiasis was similar to other studies carried out among adolescents worldwide.
PMCID: PMC3485513  PMID: 23133306
5.  Vulvovaginal candida in a young sexually active population: prevalence and association with oro-genital sex and frequent pain at intercourse 
Objective: To study the prevalence of vulvovaginal candida among sexually active adolescents. To determine past and present symptoms, including pain at intercourse and potential behavioural risk factors associated with vulvovaginal candidiasis.
Methods: At an adolescent centre, 219 sexually active women who underwent genital examination, also completed a questionnaire on a history of genital symptoms and infections, sexual and hygiene habits, and the use of contraceptives. Symptoms and clinical signs were registered. Vaginal samples were analysed for candida species and urine for Chlamydia trachomatis.
Results: Candida culture was positive in 42% of the women and only 15% were asymptomatic. A history of recurrent candidiasis was given by 22%. Frequent pain at intercourse was reported by 24% and frequent oro-genital sex by 42% of the women. Frequent pain at intercourse was significantly associated with both the growth of candida and a history of recurrent candidiasis. Oro-genital sex was an independent risk factor for the growth of candida.
Conclusion: In sexually active adolescents, who underwent genital examination, candida cultures were positive in 42%. The habit of frequent oro-genital sex was associated with the growth of candida. Pain at intercourse was associated with the growth of candida and recurrent candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC1758393  PMID: 14755037
6.  Accuracy of the Clinical Diagnosis of Vaginitis Compared to a DNA Probe Laboratory Standard 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2009;113(1):89-95.
To estimate the accuracy of the clinical diagnosis of the three most common causes of acute vulvovaginal symptoms (bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis vaginitis, and trichomoniasis vaginalis) using a traditional, standardized clinical diagnostic protocol compared to a DNA probe laboratory standard.
This prospective clinical comparative study had a sample of 535 active duty United States military women presenting with vulovaginal symptoms. Clinical diagnoses were made by research staff using a standardized protocol of history, physical examination including pelvic examination, determination of vaginal pH, vaginal fluid amines test, and wet-prep microscopy. Vaginal fluid samples were obtained for DNA analysis. The research clinicians were blinded to the DNA results.
The participants described a presenting symptom of abnormal discharge (50%), itching/irritation (33%), malodor (10%), burning (4%), or others such as vulvar pain and vaginal discomfort. According to laboratory standard, there were 225 cases (42%) of bacterial vaginosis 76 cases (14%) of candidiasis vaginitis, 8 cases (1.5%) of trichomoniasis vaginalis, 87 cases of mixed infections (16%), and 139 negative cases (26%). For each single infection, the clinical diagnosis had a sensitivity and specificity of 80.8% and 70.0% for bacterial vaginosis; 83.8% and 84.8% for candidiasis vaginitis; and 84.6% and 99.6% for trichomoniasis vaginalis when compared to the DNA probe standard.
Compared to a DNA probe standard, clinical diagnosis is 81-85% sensitive and 70- 99% specific for bacterial vaginosis, candida vaginitis, and trichomoniasis. Even under research conditions that provided clinicians with sufficient time and materials to conduct a thorough and standardized clinical evaluation, the diagnosis and therefore, subsequent treatment of these common vaginal problems remains difficult.
PMCID: PMC2745984  PMID: 19104364
7.  A Prospective Study of Vaginal Bacterial Flora and Other Risk Factors for Vulvovaginal Candidiasis 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2009;199(12):1883-1890.
It has been suggested that vaginal lactobacilli may reduce the risk of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), but supporting data are limited. Our objective was to determine the relationship between vaginal bacterial flora and VVC.
We conducted a prospective cohort analysis among 151 Kenyan sex workers. At monthly follow-up, VVC was defined as the presence of yeast buds, pseudohyphae, or both on vaginal wet preparation or KOH preparation. Generalized estimating equations were used to identify correlates of VVC.
Participants returned for a median of 12 (interquartile range 11-12) visits. Vulvovaginal candidiasis was present at 162 visits, including 26 with symptomatic VVC. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) was associated with fewer episodes of VVC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16-0.50). After excluding women with concurrent BV, another possible cause of vaginal symptoms, the likelihood of symptomatic VVC was higher in those with yeast on vaginal wet preparation in the past 60 days (aOR 4.06, 95% CI 1.12-14.74) and those with concurrent vaginal Lactobacillus colonization (aOR 3.75, 95% CI 1.30-10.83).
Contrary to a commonly posed hypothesis of a protective effect, we found that vaginal Lactobacillus colonization was associated with a >4-fold increase in the likelihood of symptomatic VVC.
PMCID: PMC2743896  PMID: 19456235
Vulvovaginal candidiasis; Lactobacillus; bacterial vaginosis; women
8.  Determinants of incident vulvovaginal candidiasis in human immunodeficiency virus-positive women. 
OBJECTIVE: Mucosal infections including vulvovaginal candidiasis are a common problem for women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Our objective was to determine which factors predict the development of symptomatic disease among HIV-infected women. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a prospective study from 1991 to 1995, 205 HIV-positive women were evaluated every 6 months for occurrences of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Included in the study were all initially asymptomatic women, whether they were fungal-culture-positive or -negative at baseline. Excluded from the study were all women with symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis at the initial visit, those who developed trichomonas vaginitis at any visit, and those who used any antifungal agents. RESULTS: The risk of the development of vulvovaginal candidiasis did not differ between women who were asymptomatically colonized at baseline and those who were fungal-culture-negative. However, the risk of developing vulvovaginal candidiasis was increased 6.8 times for women with CD4 counts less than 200 cells/mm3 at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Fungal culture is not predictive of the development of symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis. Women infected with HIV who have CD4 counts below 200 cells/mm3 should be monitored more carefully for vulvovaginal candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC1784689  PMID: 10968602
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge among women of childbearing age and is associated with STI/HIV and adverse birth outcomes. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of BV among young women of reproductive age in Mysore, India.
Between October 2005 and December 2006, 898 sexually active women of 15–30 years of age were enrolled from two reproductive health clinics in Mysore. The women underwent an interview followed by physical examination, HSV-2 serologic testing, endocervical culture for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and vaginal swabs for diagnosis of BV, Trichomonas vaginalis infection and candidiasis. Statistical analyses included conventional descriptive statistics and multivariable analysis using logistic regression.
Of the 898 women, 391 (43.5%) were diagnosed with ≥1 endogenous reproductive tract infection and 157 (17.4%) with ≥1 sexually transmitted infection. Only 863 women had Gram-stained vaginal smears available, out of which 165 (19.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 16.3%–22.2%) were found to have BV and 133 (15.4, 95% CI: 12.9%–18.3%) were in the ‘intermediate’ stage. BV was related to concurrent infections with T. vaginalis (odds ratio [OR] = 4.07, 95% CI: 2.45–6.72) and HSV-2 seropositivity (OR = 2.22, 95% CI: 1.39–3.53).
In this population, the prevalence of BV at 19% was relatively low. Coinfection with T. vaginalis, however, was common. BV was independently associated with concurrent T. vaginalis infection and partner’s alcohol use. Muslim women had reduced odds of BV as compared to non-Muslim women. Further research is needed to understand the role of T. vaginalis infection in the pathogenesis of BV and the sociocultural context surrounding the condition in India.
PMCID: PMC3625939  PMID: 18445948
Bacterial vaginosis; correlates; epidemiology; India; prevalence; sexually transmitted infections
10.  Cytolytic vaginosis: misdiagnosed as candidal vaginitis. 
OBJECTIVES: In this study, 210 women with vaginal discharge and other symptoms/signs of genital pathology suggestive of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) were involved in order to distinguish true WC and cytolytic vaginosis (CV) cases. METHODS: Fungal cultures, 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) and Gram stained preparations and pH measurements were performed on the vaginal discharge material of each patient. RESULTS: Fifteen patients (7.1%) were diagnosed with cytolytic vaginosis according to their clinical and microbiological findings, including abundant lactobacilli, fragmented epithelial cells and/or free nuclei due to cytolysis, seen in their discharge materials on microscopic examination, but no fungal growth. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study may contribute to the reports in the literature indicating the importance of such disorders, which are generally misdiagnosed as candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC1784587  PMID: 15460190
11.  Syndromic management of vaginal discharge among women in a reproductive health clinic in India 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2000;76(4):303-306.
Objectives: To examine the performance of the syndromic approach in the management of vaginal discharge among women attending a reproductive health clinic in New Delhi, India.
Methods: Women who sought services from the clinic and who had a complaint of vaginal discharge were interviewed, underwent a pelvic examination, and provided samples for laboratory investigations of bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections. Data analysis focused on the prevalence of infection and on the performance of the algorithm recommended by the national authorities for the management of vaginal discharge.
Results: The most common infection among 319 women was bacterial vaginosis (26%). At least one sexually transmitted infection was detected in 21.9% of women. The prevalence of C trachomatis infection was 12.2%; trichomoniasis 10%; syphilis 2.2%; N gonorrhoeae was not isolated. An algorithm based on risk assessment and speculum assisted clinical evaluation was not helpful in predicting cervical infections associated with C trachomatis (sensitivity 5% and PPV 9%). This algorithm was sensitive (95%) though not specific (22%) in selecting women for metronidazole therapy effective against bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, and overtreatment was a problem (PPV 38%). The sensitivity, specificity, and PPV of this algorithm for the treatment of candidiasis were 46%, 98%, and 88% respectively. The cost per case assessed using the algorithm was $2 and the cost per infection correctly treated was $4.25.
Conclusions: The prevalence of cervical infection associated with C trachomatis was high among these "low risk" women. The syndromic approach is not an efficient tool for detecting this condition, and alternative approaches to evaluation and intervention are required. The syndromic management of vaginal discharge among women seeking family planning and other reproductive health services should focus on vaginal infections, thus enhancing quality of care and addressing women's concerns about their health.
Key Words: syndromic approach; vaginal discharge; Chlamydia trachomatis; reproductive health; India
PMCID: PMC1744180  PMID: 11026889
12.  Chronic vulvovaginal candidiasis: characteristics of women with Candida albicans, C glabrata and no candida. 
Genitourinary Medicine  1995;71(5):304-307.
INTRODUCTION--Although as many as 5% of all women complain of chronic vulvovaginitis, little is known about these women. They may often be misdiagnosed and the role of vaginal yeast culture in diagnosing vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) among them has not been clearly defined. METHODS--To address these deficiencies, we tabulated initial diagnoses among new patients and conducted a medical record-based, unmatched case-control study among women reporting a history of chronic vulvovaginitis (four or more episodes in the past year) at a vulvovaginitis specialty clinic. Clinical presentation and medical history were compared for women who had a positive vaginal yeast culture for either Candida albicans or C glabrata, or who had a negative culture. RESULTS--One-third of the women had no apparent vulvovaginal disease at their initial visit. All women reported similar symptoms, except for an increased prevalence of painful sexual intercourse in women with C albicans (chi 2 p = 0.014 versus women with C glabrata and p < 0.001 versus women with no candida). Women with C glabrata were more likely to be non-white (chi 2 p = 0.071 compared with women with C albicans) and to report an underlying medical condition (chi 2 p < or = 0.001 versus both women with C albicans and women with no candida). Physical examination was normal only in women with no candida. C albicans cases were more likely to have positive potassium hydroxide microscopy (chi 2 p = 0.016) and a pH < or = 4.5 (chi 2 p = 0.011) than were C glabrata cases. CONCLUSIONS--These results suggest that reliance on symptoms and signs alone will result in significant misdiagnosis of chronic vulvovaginitis. Among women with VVC, subtle differences in clinical presentation do not reliably distinguish women with C albicans from those with C glabrata. Our study also indicates that vaginal yeast cultures, while not necessary for every patient, are valuable in confirming negative diagnoses, detecting microscopy false-negatives, and identifying non-C albicans isolates.
PMCID: PMC1195546  PMID: 7490047
13.  Comparison between Fluconazole with Oral Protexin Combination and Fluconazole in the Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis 
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology  2012;2012:375806.
Background. According to the limited studies reporting new treatments for vulvovaginal candidiasis, this study was designed to compare the combination of fluconazole and oral protexin with fluconazole in the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Methods. A double-blind clinical trial was conducted, involving 90 women who were referred to the gynecology clinic. Vulvovaginal candidiasis was diagnosed with itching, cheesy vaginal discharge, and any one of the following: dysuria, pH < 4.5, dyspareunia, vulvar erythema, or vulvar edema and if branched hyphae and Candida buds were visible after addition of KOH 10% in the culture and the result of cultivation in Sabouraud's dextrose agar medium was positive. Patients were randomly classified into two groups Absence of discharge, itching, and negative culture results 5–7 days after completion of treatment indicated treatment success. Data in this study were analyzed using the SPSS version 17.0 software. Results. The combinations, fluconazole-oral protexin and fluconazole-placebo, were equally effective in reduction of complaints and symptoms, but fluconazole-oral protexin combination elicited a better therapeutic response (χ2 = 0.01, P = 6.7). In addition, fluconazole-oral protexin combination treatment demonstrated better recovery time (t = −2.04, P = 0.04). Conclusion. This study demonstrated that complementary treatment with probiotic Lactobacillus increased the efficacy of fluconazole in treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Further research is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3483713  PMID: 23119175
14.  Analysis of Vaginal Lactobacilli from Healthy and Infected Brazilian Women▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2008;74(14):4539-4542.
Culture-dependent PCR-amplified rRNA gene restriction analysis and culture-independent (PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) methodologies were used to examine vaginal lactobacilli from Brazilian women who were healthy or had been diagnosed with vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) or bacterial vaginosis. Only Lactobacillus crispatus was detected accordingly by both methods, and H2O2-producing lactobacilli were not associated with protection against VVC.
PMCID: PMC2493183  PMID: 18502927
15.  Highly-cited estimates of the cumulative incidence and recurrence of vulvovaginal candidiasis are inadequately documented 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:43.
Available literature concerning the epidemiologic or clinical features of vulvovaginal candidiasis commonly reports that: 75% of women will experience an episode of vulvovaginal candidiasis in their lifetimes, 50% of whom will experience at least a second episode, and 5-10% of all women will experience recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (≥4 episodes/1 year). In this debate we traced the three commonly cited statistics to their presumed origins.
It is apparent that these figures were inadequately documented and lacked supporting epidemiologic evidence. Population-based studies are needed to make reliable estimates of the lifetime risk of vulvovaginal candidiasis and the proportion of women who experience recurrent candidiasis.
The extent to which vulvovaginal candidiasis is a source of population-level morbidity remains uncertain.
PMCID: PMC3975582  PMID: 24612727
16.  Diverse Vaginal Microbiomes in Reproductive-Age Women with Vulvovaginal Candidiasis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79812.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is one of the most prevalent vaginal infectious diseases, and there are controversial reports regarding the diversity of the associated vaginal microbiota. We determined the vaginal microbial community in patients with VVC, bacterial vaginosis (BV), and mixed infection of VVC and BV using Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA tags. Our results revealed for the first time the highly variable patterns of the vaginal microbiome from VVC patients. In general, the alpha-diversity results of species richness and evenness showed the following order: normal control < VVC only < mixed BV and VVC infection < BV only. The beta-diversity comparison of community structures also showed an intermediate composition of VVC between the control and BV samples. A detailed comparison showed that, although the control and BV communities had typical patterns, the vaginal microbiota of VVC is complex. The mixed BV and VVC infection group showed a unique pattern, with a relatively higher abundance of Lactobacillus than the BV group and higher abundance of Prevotella, Gardnerella, and Atopobium than the normal control. In contrast, the VVC-only group could not be described by any single profile, ranging from a community structure similar to the normal control (predominated with Lactobacillus) to BV-like community structures (abundant with Gardnerella and Atopobium). Treatment of VVC resulted in inconsistent changes of the vaginal microbiota, with four BV/VVC samples recovering to a higher Lactobacillus level, whereas many VVC-only patients did not. These results will be useful for future studies on the role of vaginal microbiota in VVC and related infectious diseases.
PMCID: PMC3827160  PMID: 24265786
17.  Patient preferences and treatment safety for uncomplicated vulvovaginal candidiasis in primary health care 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:63.
Vaginitis is a common complaint in primary care. In uncomplicated candidal vaginitis, there are no differences in effectiveness between oral or vaginal treatment. Some studies describe that the preferred treatment is the oral one, but a Cochrane's review points out inconsistencies associated with the report of the preferred way that limit the use of such data. Risk factors associated with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis still remain controversial.
This work describes a protocol of a multicentric prospective observational study with one year follow up, to describe the women's reasons and preferences to choose the way of administration (oral vs topical) in the treatment of not complicated candidal vaginitis. The number of women required is 765, they are chosen by consecutive sampling. All of whom are aged 16 and over with vaginal discharge and/or vaginal pruritus, diagnosed with not complicated vulvovaginitis in Primary Care in Madrid.
The main outcome variable is the preferences of the patients in treatment choice; secondary outcome variables are time to symptoms relief and adverse reactions and the frequency of recurrent vulvovaginitis and the risk factors. In the statistical analysis, for the main objective will be descriptive for each of the variables, bivariant analysis and multivariate analysis (logistic regression).. The dependent variable being the type of treatment chosen (oral or topical) and the independent, the variables that after bivariant analysis, have been associated to the treatment preference.
Clinical decisions, recommendations, and practice guidelines must not only attend to the best available evidence, but also to the values and preferences of the informed patient.
PMCID: PMC3048533  PMID: 21281464
18.  Lamisil versus clotrimazole in the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis 
Background and Objectives
Vaginal candidiasis is a common disease in women during their lifetime and occurs in diabetes patients, during pregnancy and oral contraceptives users. Although several antifungals are routinely used for treatment; however, vaginal candidiasis is a challenge for patients and gynecologists. The aim of the present study was to evaluate terbinafine (Lamisil) on Candida vaginitis versus clotrimazole.
Materials and Methods
In the present study women suspected to have vulvovaginal candidiasis were sampled and disease confirmed using direct smear and culture examination from vaginal discharge. Then, patients were randomly divided into two groups, the first group (32 cases) was treated with clotrimazole and the next (25 cases) with Lamisil. All patients were followed-up to three weeks of treatment and therapeutic effects of both antifungal were compared.
Our results shows that 12 (37.5%) patients were completely treated with clotrimazole during two weeks and, 6(18.8%) patients did not respond to drugs and were refereed for fluconazole therapy. Fourteen (43.8%) patients showed moderate response and clotrimazole therapy was extended for one more week. When Lamisil was administrated, 19 (76.0%) patients were completely treated with Lamisil in two weeks, and 1 (4.0%) of the patients did not respond to the drug and was refereed for fluconazole therapy. Five (20.0%) of our patients showed moderate response and Lamisil therapy was extended for one more week.
Our results show that vaginal cream, 1% Lamisil, could be suggested as a first-line treatment in vulvovaginal candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC3577561  PMID: 23466900
Vulvovaginal candidiasis; Clotrimazole; Terbinafine; Candida albicans
19.  Prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis infection among young reproductive age women in India: implications for treatment and prevention 
Sexual health  2009;6(4):339-344.
Trichomonas vaginalis infection is the most common curable sexually transmissible infection (STI) worldwide. The present study describes the burden and correlates of T. vaginalis infection among young reproductive age women in Mysore, India.
Between November 2005 and March 2006, sexually active women aged 15–30 years were recruited from low-income peri-urban and rural neighbourhoods of Mysore, India. Participants were interviewed and offered a physical examination and testing for T. vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, vaginal candidiasis, Neisseria gonorrheoea and herpes simplex virus type-2 antibodies.
Of the 898 participating women, 76 had a T. vaginalis infection (8.5%, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 6.7–10.5%). Nearly all (98%) participants were married and most reported their spouse as their main sex partner. The mean age at marriage was 16.9 years (s.d. 2.9 years) and two-thirds of the sample reported having first sexual intercourse before the age of 19 years. Risk factors independently associated with T. vaginalis infection included early age at first intercourse (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.09; 95% CI: 1.09–4.00), concurrent bacterial vaginosis (OR 8.21; 95% CI: 4.30–15.66), vaginal candidiasis (OR 2.40; 95% CI: 1.48–3.89) and herpes simplex virus type-2 infection (OR 3.44; 95% CI: 1.97–6.02).
The burden of T. vaginalis infection at 8.5% is relatively high among a community sample of young reproductive aged women. Because this infection increases the risk of HIV transmission and is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, there is a need for increased screening and treatment of this easily curable sexually transmissible infection in India.
PMCID: PMC3619426  PMID: 19917204
correlates; epidemiology; sexually transmissible diseases; women
20.  Susceptibility Pattern of Various Azoles Against Candida Species Causing Vulvovaginal Candidiasis 
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a common gynecological finding among the women worldwide. Candida species are often less susceptible to antifungal agents. Owing to this fact, in this study, we aimed at assessing the prevalence rate and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of various azoles against Candida species causing VVC in symptomatic women.
The prospective study included 217 female patients with symptoms of vaginal discharges. Specimens were characterized microscopically and were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing against various azoles according to NCCLSM44 disk-diffusion method.
VVC was detected in 18.4 % of the cases. Based on age distribution, the highest rate of Candida infection was observed in the age group of 20–29 years (42.5 %). Antifungal susceptibility revealed that fluconazole was highly effective against Candida Species (97.2 %); on the contrary, the highest resistance was observed in the case of miconazole (63 %).
In the current study, prevalence rate of VVC was found to be 18.4 %, and among the various azoles tested, fluconazole has the highest antimicrobial activity.
PMCID: PMC3664691  PMID: 24431621
Vulvovaginal candidiasis; Fluconazole; Miconazole
21.  Practices of Lebanese gynecologists regarding treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis 
A review of the literature clearly indicates the absence of one set of guideline in the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. In Lebanon, as physicians are trained in European or American schools of medicine, locally or abroad, they may be approaching the issue of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis using various methods.
A national survey was conducted among Lebanese gynecologists to assess therapeutic protocols most commonly adopted to treat recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.
Material and Methods:
All obstetricians-gynecologists registered with the Order of Physicians were targeted. Bivariate analyses, comparing groups with specific prescription preferences, were tested using relevant statistical tests. All variables with significant bivariate associations with the outcomes were initially planned for a multivariate regression analysis to assess their interactive effects.
The study confirms that different approaches are used to treat recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Most gynecologists (70%) recommended fluconazole 150 mg as first-line treatment. Fluconazole alone was significantly preferred by North American trained physicians, whereas European trained ones preferred to prescribe it in combination. However different dosage regimens were used with duration of treatment ranging from 2 to 4 weeks, with or without maintenance.
The study revealed large diversity in prescription pattern, closely related to the specialization background of the physician. There is a need to generate evidence to establish national guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3271395  PMID: 22362449
Fluconazole; Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis; Treatment patterns
22.  Clinical and microbiological characteristics of symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis in HIV-seropositive women. 
Genitourinary Medicine  1994;70(4):268-272.
OBJECTIVES--To evaluate the clinical and microbiological characteristics of symptomatic vaginal candidiasis in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-seropositive women attending a gynaecologic outpatient clinic for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). DESIGN--Vaginal, rectal and oral specimens from cases and controls were cultured for Candida spp. SUBJECTS--Eighty-four consecutive HIV-seropositive and 384 HIV-seronegative women with clinical signs of vulvovaginitis. SETTING--A gynaecological out-patient clinic in Pavia, Italy. RESULTS--The overall prevalence of vaginal candidiasis was 61.9% (52/84) in the cases and 32.3% (124/384; p < .001) in the controls. After adjustment by logistic regression analysis for confounding factors (age at first intercourse, lifetime sex partners, new partner/s in the last 6 months, type of contraceptive used), HIV-seropositive patients were at higher risk for both Candida albicans (odds ratio = 2.5; 95% confidence interval 1.31-4.69; p = 0.006) and Torulopsis glabrata vaginitis (OR = 3.5; 95% CI = 1.05-11.60; p = 0.04) than controls. HIV-seropositive subjects had also increased rates of oral and rectal colonisation with Candida spp. Finally, the time to recurrence of vaginal infection was significantly shorter in HIV-seropositive patients than controls and was correlated with the severity of HIV-induced immunodepression. CONCLUSIONS--Vulvovaginal candidiasis is very common in HIV-seropositive women and its prevalence is correlated with the immunological status of the host. These patients have higher frequencies of Torulopsis glabrata vaginal infection and are more prone to recurrence than HIV-seronegative controls.
PMCID: PMC1195253  PMID: 7959713
23.  Vaginal Infections 
Canadian Family Physician  1989;35:1323-1326.
Vaginal infections are among the most common complaints for which women see their physicians. The patient complains primarily of vaginal discharge or pruritus. Optimal management of these infections requires a careful history, physical examination, and laboratory assessment to determine the pathogen. Specific therapy is available for the three important causes of vaginal infection: yeast vulvovaginitis, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis. Concomitant sexually transmitted diseases should be excluded in women with complaints suggestive of vaginal infection.
PMCID: PMC2280409  PMID: 21248968
gynecology; infectious diseases; vaginal infections
24.  Validity of the vaginal discharge algorithm among pregnant and non-pregnant women in Nairobi, Kenya 
Objective: To evaluate the validity of different algorithms for the diagnosis of gonococcal and chlamydial infections among pregnant and non-pregnant women consulting health services for vaginal discharge in Nairobi, Kenya.
Methods: Cross sectional study among 621 women with complaints of vaginal discharge in three city council clinics between April and August 1997. Women were interviewed and examined for symptoms and signs of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Specimens were obtained for laboratory diagnosis of genital infections, HIV, and syphilis. The data were used to evaluate the Kenyan flow chart as well as several other generated algorithms.
Results: The mean age was 24 years and 334 (54%) were pregnant. The overall prevalence rates were: 50% candidiasis, 23% trichomoniasis, 9% bacterial vaginosis, 7% gonorrhoea, 9% chlamydia, 7% syphilis, and 22% HIV. In non-pregnant women, gonococcal and chlamydial infection was significantly associated with (1) demographic and behavioural risk markers such as being single, younger than 20 years, multiple sex partners in the previous 3 months; (2) symptom fever; and (3) signs including presence of yellow or bloody vaginal discharge, cervical mucopus, cervical erythema, and friability. Among pregnant women only young age, dysuria, and fever were significantly associated with cervical infection. However, none of these variables was either sensitive or specific enough for the diagnosis of cervical infection. Several algorithms were generated and applied to the study data. The algorithm including risk markers performed slightly better than the current Kenyan algorithm.
Conclusion: STIs form a major problem in the Nairobi area and should be addressed accordingly. None of the tested algorithms for the treatment of vaginal discharge would constitute a marked improvement of the existing flow chart. Hence, better detection tools for the specific aetiology of vaginal discharge are urgently needed.
Key Words: algorithm; sexually transmitted diseases; pregnancy; Kenya
PMCID: PMC1760552  PMID: 10817066
25.  Effects of Reproductive Hormones on Experimental Vaginal Candidiasis 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(2):651-657.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is an opportunistic mucosal infection caused by Candida albicans that affects large numbers of otherwise healthy women of childbearing age. Acute episodes of VVC often occur during pregnancy and during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, when levels of progesterone and estrogen are elevated. Although estrogen-dependent experimental rodent models of C. albicans vaginal infection are used for many applications, the role of reproductive hormones and/or their limits in the acquisition of vaginal candidiasis remain unclear. This study examined the effects of estrogen and progesterone on several aspects of an experimental infection together with relative cell-mediated immune responses. Results showed that while decreasing estrogen concentrations eventually influenced infection-induced vaginal titers of C. albicans and rates of infection in inoculated animals, the experimental infection could not be achieved in mice treated with various concentrations of progesterone alone. Furthermore, progesterone had no effect on (i) the induction and persistence of the infection in the presence of estrogen, (ii) delayed-type hypersensitivity in primary-infected mice, or (iii) the partial protection from a secondary vaginal infection under pseudoestrus conditions. Other results with estrogen showed that a persistent infection could be established with a wide range of C. albicans inocula under supraphysiologic and near-physiologic (at estrus) concentrations of estrogen and that vaginal fungus titers or rates of infection were similar if pseudoestrus was initiated several days before or after inoculation. However, the pseudoestrus state had to be maintained for the infection to persist. Finally, estrogen was found to reduce the ability of vaginal epithelial cells to inhibit the growth of C. albicans. These results suggest that estrogen, but not progesterone, is an important factor in hormone-associated susceptibility to C. albicans vaginitis.
PMCID: PMC97188  PMID: 10639429

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