AIMS: To establish the common pathogens associated with infective vulvovaginitis in young girls in the local population and to determine current management of this condition. METHODS: A prospective laboratory based survey was carried out over 19 months. A questionnaire was then sent to local general practitioners and hospital doctors. RESULTS: One hundred and six swabs were received during the study period of which 43 (40.5%) yielded organisms recognised as causes of vulvovaginitis. The most common pathogen was group A beta haemolytic streptococcus (19), with Haemophilus influenzae the second most common (11). Candida was isolated on nine occasions. The users' questionnaire had an overall response rate of 52%. Forty one per cent of respondents nominated candida as the most common cause of this condition. Forty six per cent were aware that beta haemolytic streptococci caused juvenile vulvovaginitis, but only four (3.6%) knew that H influenzae was a possible pathogen. The most popular agent for empirical treatment of vulvovaginitis was topical clotrimazole cream, although 24 respondents (22%) prescribed antibiotics that are active against both group A beta haemolytic streptococci and H influenzae. CONCLUSIONS: Although H influenzae is the second most common infective cause of juvenile vulvovaginitis in the local population, most doctors managing these patients were unaware of its importance and may not be prescribing appropriate empirical treatment.
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