Vaginal Candida parapsilosis: Pathogen or Bystander?
Objective: Candida parapsilosis is an infrequent isolate on vaginal cultures; its role as a vaginal pathogen remains unstudied. This retrospective study of women with positive culture for C. parapsilosis sought to characterize the significance of this finding and its response to antifungal therapy.Methods: From February 2001 to August 2002, we identified all individuals with positive fungal isolates among a population of women with chronic vulvovaginal symptoms. Charts of women with C. parapsilosis cultures were reviewed with regard to patient demographics, clinical presentation and therapeutic response. Mycological cure, defined as a negative fungal culture at the next office visit, and clinical cure, i.e. symptom resolution, were determined for each subject.Results: A total of 582 women had positive vaginal cultures for 635 isolates, of which 54 (8.5%) were C. parapsilosis. The charts of 51 subjects with C. parapsilosis were available for review and follow-up cultures and clinical information were available for 39 (76.5%). Microscopy was positive in 9 (17.6%). Antifungal treatment resulted in mycological cure in 17/19 patients with fluconazole, 7/7 with butoconazole, 6/6 with boric acid, 1/1 with miconazole and occurred spontaneously in 6/ 7: 24/37 (64.9%) patients with a mycological cure experienced clinical cure.Conclusions: Although C. parapsilosis is often a cause of vaginal symptoms, it seems to respond to a variety of antifungal agents and may even be a transient vaginal colonizer.
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