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Vaginopathic and proteolytic Candida species in outpatients attending a gynaecology clinic.
  1. L Agatensi,
  2. F Franchi,
  3. F Mondello,
  4. R L Bevilacqua,
  5. T Ceddia,
  6. F De Bernardis,
  7. A Cassone
  1. Center for Tumor Prevention, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome.


    Non-pregnant, non-diabetic outpatients were examined for the presence of pathogenic vaginal yeasts to determine if a correlation existed between a specific yeast and clinical disease. Yeasts were isolated as single vaginal species from 186 of 228 subjects with clinically diagnosed candidal vaginitis, as well as from 122 out of 380 asymptomatic, age-matched controls. Apart from Candida albicans and C glabrata, other prevalent species were C krusei, C parapsilosis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae which accounted for 9.2%, 6.0% and 5.4%, and 9.0%, 2.4% and 19.7%, of yeasts from patients and carriers, respectively. Only C albicans and C parapsilosis were significantly more common in those with vaginitis. Only the isolates of these two species secreted aspartyl proteinase in vitro, and the amount of the enzymes secreted by the isolates from patients was significantly higher than that secreted by the isolates from carriers. These two species consistently produced vaginal infection in pseudoestrus rats, whereas none of the non-proteolytic species tested (C glabrata, C krusei, and S cerevisiae) colonised the vagina in these rats. Proteinase secretion correlated with experimental vaginal infection; it could also be a reliable factor for distinguishing clinically active infection from asymptomatic fungal carriage.

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