Vaginal swabs from women who on clinical evidence were thought to have vaginal candidosis were examined for yeasts by conventional laboratory methods (microscopy and culture) and also assayed for Candida antigens using a rapid (3 min) slide latex particle agglutination tests. Results showed that a diagnosis of vaginal candidosis based on clinical criteria alone is unreliable: only half of the women were subsequently confirmed as having candidosis by microscopy and culture. The new slide latex particle agglutination test gave better results, with 100% specificity, 80% sensitivity, high predictive values (greater than or equal to 91%), and an overall diagnostic efficiency of 93%. From the results of this preliminary study, slide latex particle agglutination looks a promising, rapid alternative to conventional laboratory methods for confirming a clinical diagnosis of vaginal candidosis and has the considerable advantage that it can be conveniently used in a clinical setting.
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