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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 225-231

Investigations by Cell-Mediated Immunologic Tests and Therapeutic Trials With Thymopentin in Vaginal Mycoses

1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Wuppental St. Antonius Hospital, Düsseldorf Heinrich Heine Uiversität, Düsseldorf, Germany
2Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Düsseldorf Heinrich Heine Uiversität, Düsseldorf, Germany
3Klinik für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe, Klinikum Frankfurt (Oder), Müllroser Chaussee 7, Frankfurt (Oder) Markendorf D-15236, Germany

Received 15 March 1996; Accepted 23 July 1996

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: According to unsatisfactory therapeutic results in patients with chronically recurrent vaginal candidosis, we investigated if immunologic patient factors could be found and treated.

Methods: In 42 women with chronically recurrent and 20 women with acute Candida albicans vulvovaginitis, as well as 14 women with C. glabrata vaginitis, the following investigations were carried out: identification of yeast species; quantification of T lymphocytes and their subpopulations in sera; proliferation tests of T lymphocytes in vitro; treatment of 18 patients with chronically recurrent vaginal candidosis with the synthetic T-lymphocyte- stimulator thymopentin; and, finally, control of the above-mentioned parameters in the clinical course.

Results: Women with C. albicans vulvovaginitis showed fewer T lymphocytes and subpopulations in the peripheral blood than healthy women. Only the number of non-specific killer (NK) cells, however, was significantly lower in cases of acute C. albicans vulvovaginitis. In women with C. glabrata vaginitis, the number of T lymphocytes in the blood was within the normal range. In vitro proliferation tests using mitogens, bacterial antigens, and commercially available candida antigens with and without addition of thymopentin were carried out on the T lymphocytes of women with chronically recurrent C. albicans vulvovaginitis. These tests revealed no significant differences compared with the other patients with C. albicans infections. The patients were treated with thymopentin. Those women who revealed an increase of initially low numbers of T-helper cells recovered from vaginal candidosis after thymopentin treatment.

Conclusions: The peripheral T lymphocytes may be diminished in patients with chronically recurrent C. albicans vaginitis, and immunologic treatment can reduce the relapse rate.