Objective: Isolation of Trichosporon species from vaginal secretions is a rare event, and no data are available on
its pathogenic role. A case series is presented to determine the pathogenic role of Trichosporon species in
Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients seen in the W.S.U. Vaginitis Clinic in order
to identify patients from whom Trichosporon species were isolated.
Results: Between 1986 and 2001, a total of 13 patients had a total of 18 positive vaginal cultures for Trichosporon species. All 18 vaginal isolates were T. inkin. In general, positive vaginal cultures were accompanied by low
yeast colony counts. Four out of 18 positive T. inkin cultures were obtained from visits by asymptomatic patients.
Of the remaining 14 positive T. inkin cultures from patients with symptoms, nine out of 14 cultures had other
diagnoses (Candida albicans, six cases; bacterial vaginosis, two cases; Trichomonas, one case). Five positive T. inkin
cultures were obtained from visits at which patients had symptoms and no associated diagnosis. In only one of the
five episodes could we establish a clear pathogenic role for Trichosporon. In this case the patient was treated with
boric acid and had resolution of symptoms and a negative culture at follow-up. In-vitro susceptibility tests revealed
that T. inkin was resistant to flucytosine and susceptible to all topical and oral azoles.
Conclusions: T. inkin is occasionally found in vulvovaginal cultures and is usually a non-pathogen. Transient
colonization tended to occur in women, usually of African—American origin, with major perturbations in vaginal
flora (bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis) and increased pH. Pathogenic consequences of Trichosporon colonization
appear to be rare.