Candidiasis in HIV/AIDS patients continues to be a public health problem. Antifungal therapies are not always effective and may result in complications, such as the development of drug-resistant strains of Candida species.
This study evaluated the impact of probiotic consumption on Candida colonization of the oral and vaginal mucosa.
A pilot study was conducted in 24 women (17 HIV-infected, 7 HIV-uninfected) from the Women's Interagency HIV Study. The women underwent a 60-day initiation period with no probiotic consumption, followed by two 15-day consumption periods, with a different probiotic yogurt (DanActive™ or YoPlus™ yogurt) during each interval. There was a 30-day washout period between the two yogurt consumption periods. Oral and vaginal culture swabs were collected on days 0, 60, 74, and 120. Candida was detected by inoculating each swab in both Sabouraud's dextrose agar with or without chloramphenicol and CHROMagar.
Less fungal colonization among women was observed when the women consumed probiotic yogurts (54 % of the women had vaginal fungal colonization during the non-probiotic yogurt consumption period, 29 % during the DanActive™ period, and 38 % during YoPlus™ yogurt consumption period), and HIV-infected women had significantly lower vaginal fungal colonization after they consumed DanActive™ yogurt compared to the nonintervention periods (54 vs 29 %, p = 0.03).
These data are promising, but as expected in a small pilot study, there were some significant changes but also some areas where colonization was not changed. This type of conflicting data is supportive of the need for a larger trial to further elucidate the role of probiotic yogurts in fungal growth in HIV-infected women.