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Antifungal susceptibility testing of vulvovaginal Candida species among women attending antenatal clinic in tertiary care hospitals of Peshawar

Authors Khan M, Ahmed J, Gul A, Ikram A, Lalani FK

Received 3 October 2017

Accepted for publication 1 February 2018

Published 28 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 447—456


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sahil Khanna

Maria Khan,1 Jawad Ahmed,2 Amina Gul,3 Aamer Ikram,1 Farida Khurram Lalani1

Department of Microbiology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, National University of Management Sciences, CMH Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 2Department of Microbiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan; 3Department of Microbiology, Khyber Medical College, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan

Background: Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is considered as a pervasive gynecological problem among women worldwide. Owing to this fact, in the current study, we aimed at assessing the prevalence rate of Candida spp. causing VVC in symptomatic pregnant women and their antifungal susceptibility pattern.
Methods: This study was carried out in the tertiary care hospitals of Peshawar during the period of July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. The study group included 450 pregnant women in the age group of 17–44 years with symptoms of excessive vaginal discharge, pain and pruritis. In all, 108 pregnant women were culture positive for Candida. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) was conducted on specimens against various azoles and polyene F group of antifungals.
Results: Out of 108 Candida spp. isolated from vaginal swabs, there were 45 (41.7%) Candida albicans, 18 (16.7%) Candida tropicalis, 18 (16.7%) Candida krusei, 16 (14.8%) Candida glabrata and 11 (10.2%) Candida dubliniensis. According to age distribution, 27 years was the mean age. Pregnancy trimester distribution among patients was as follows: 21 (19.4%) patients were in their first trimester, 65 (60.2%) patients were in their second trimester and 22 (20.4%) patients were in the third trimester. Susceptibility of fluconazole was determined as follows: 33.3% of the Candida isolates were sensitive, 4.6% were susceptible dose dependent (SDD) and 62% were resistant. Susceptibility of Candida spp. with respect to nystatin in patients with VVC was as follows: 25% were sensitive, 16.7% were SDD and 58.3% were resistant. Susceptibility of clotrimazole was analyzed, and it was sensitive in 21.3% of patients, SDD in 19.4% of patients and resistant in 59.3% of patients. Voriconazole susceptibility was recorded to be sensitive in 85.2% of patients, SDD in 4.6% of patients and resistant in 10.2% of patients suffering from VVC. Susceptibility results for itraconazole in patients with VVC were as follows: 42.6% of patients were sensitive, 16.7% of patients were SDD, and 40.7% of patients were resistant.
Conclusion: In this study, frequency of VVC was noted to be high in the second trimester of pregnancy, with the highest frequency of C. albicans isolated, followed by C. tropicalis and C. krusei. Antifungal susceptibility testing revealed that fluconazole was exceedingly resistant against Candida species (62%), followed by clotrimazole (59.3%) and nystatin (58.3%). On the contrary, voriconazole had the highest antimicrobial activity against Candida species (85.2%).

Keywords: vulvovaginal candidiasis, fluconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nystatin

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