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Prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis among nonpregnant women attending a tertiary health care facility in Abuja, Nigeria

Authors Emeribe A, Abdullahi Nasir I, Onyia J, Ifunanya AL

Received 17 February 2015

Accepted for publication 27 April 2015

Published 29 June 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 37—42

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRTM.S82984

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Unnasch


Anthony Uchenna Emeribe,1 Idris Abdullahi Nasir,2 Justus Onyia,2 Alinwachukwu Loveth Ifunanya3

1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria; 2Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria; 3Department of Medical Laboratory, School of Health Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State, Nigeria


Background: Candida spp. are normal flora of the vagina that eventually become pathogenic under some prevailing conditions, and thus present as a common etiology of vulvovaginitis. When prompt recognition and laboratory confirmation is not achieved, this could lead to devastating genital discomfort and a major reason for frequent hospital visits.
Aims: This was a cross-sectional prospective study that aimed to determine the prevalence and some associated risk factors of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) among nonpregnant women attending University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.
Subjects and methods: A pair of high vaginal swab and endocervical swab samples was collected from each of 200 individual participating subjects. They were separately inoculated on Sabouraud's dextrose agar and incubated aerobically at 33°C for 48 hours. Ten percent KOH wet mount and Gram staining was done on swabs and colonies, respectively. Structured questionnaires were used to obtain sociodemographic and clinical data.
Results: Of the 200 participating subjects, the prevalence of Candida albicans was 6.5% and that of non-albicans candidiasis 7.5%. Candidiasis was observed mostly among the 20- to 30-year age-group. All subjects with Candida-positive culture had been on antibacterial therapy prior to participating in this study – 28 (100%). There was a statistical relationship between the prevalence of VVC with previous antibacterial therapy (P<0.05), but not with age or other prevailing health conditions studied (P>0.05).
Conclusion: The outcome of this study indicated involvement of Candida spp. in vulvovaginitis among nonpregnant women, especially those on empirical antibacterial therapy. Moreover, it is worthwhile to consider culture-test results as adjunctive in combination with clinical symptoms in the definitive diagnosis of VVC. Due to the importance of our findings, sex-education workshops should be conducted to educate women on the clinical significance of Candida in vulvovaginitis.

Keywords: vulvovaginal candidiasis, antibacterial therapy, nonpregnant, Abuja

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