Psychological factors associated with recurrent vaginal candidiasis: a preliminary study.
OBJECTIVE: To identify psychological factors associated with chronic recurrent vaginal candidiasis. DESIGN: A cross sectional exploratory study of women with chronic, recurrent vaginal candidiasis. PATIENTS: 28 women found culture positive and treated for vaginal candidiasis by a clinic physician at least twice within the past 6 months. All women reported that they had experienced vaginal thrush six or more times within 1 year. A comparison group comprised 16 women with no history of recurrent vaginal candidiasis, of similar age range, and recruited from a women's family planning service. METHODS: Both groups were compared on demographic criteria, sexual health histories, mental health, and psychological health characteristics. A purpose designed structured interview was administered alongside a battery of standardised psychometric instruments measuring mood, satisfaction with life, self esteem, and perceived stress. RESULTS: The two groups showed considerable similarities, with no significant differences in demographic characteristics and most sexual health issues. However, women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis were significantly more likely to suffer clinical depression, to be less satisfied with life, to have poorer self esteem, and to perceive their lives as more stressful. Additionally, women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis reported that their candidiasis seriously interfered with their sexual and emotional relationships. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this study identified many areas of psychological morbidity associated with chronic vaginal candidiasis, and indicates that development of appropriate psychological treatment initiatives in this area is long overdue. (+info)
High aspartyl proteinase production and vaginitis in human immunodeficiency virus-infected women.
Vaginal isolates of Candida albicans from human immunodeficiency virus-positive (HIV+) and HIV- women with or without candidal vaginitis were examined for secretory aspartyl proteinase (Sap) production in vitro and in vivo and for the possible correlation of Sap production with pathology and antimycotic susceptibility in vitro. HIV+ women with candidal vaginitis were infected by strains of C. albicans showing significantly higher levels of Sap, a virulence enzyme, than strains isolated from HIV+, C. albicans carrier subjects and HIV- subjects with vaginitis. The greater production of Sap in vitro was paralleled by greater amounts of Sap in the vaginal fluids of infected subjects. In an estrogen-dependent, rat vaginitis model, a strain of C. albicans producing a high level of Sap that was isolated from an HIV+ woman with vaginitis was more pathogenic than a strain of C. albicans that was isolated primarily from an HIV-, Candida carrier. In the same model, pepstatin A, a strong Sap inhibitor, exerted a strong curative effect on experimental vaginitis. No correlation was found between Sap production and antimycotic susceptibility, as most of the isolates were fully susceptible to fluconazole, itraconazole, and other antimycotics, regardless of their source (subjects infected with strains producing high or low levels of Sap, subjects with vaginitis or carrier subjects, or subjects with or without HIV). Thus, high Sap production is associated with virulence of C. albicans but not with fungal resistance to fluconazole in HIV-infected subjects, and Sap is a potentially new therapeutic target in candidal vaginitis. (+info)
Analysis of vaginal cell populations during experimental vaginal candidiasis.
Studies with an estrogen-dependent murine model of vaginal candidiasis suggest that local cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is more important than systemic CMI for protection against vaginitis. The present study, however, showed that, compared to uninfected mice, little to no change in the percentage or types of vaginal T cells occurred during a primary vaginal infection or during a secondary vaginal infection where partial protection was observed. Furthermore, depletion of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) had no effect on infection in the presence or absence of pseudoestrus. These results indicate a lack of demonstrable effects by systemic CMI or PMN against vaginitis and suggest that if local T cells are important, they are functioning without showing significant increases in numbers within the vaginal mucosa during infection. (+info)
Circulating heat shock proteins in women with a history of recurrent vulvovaginitis.
OBJECTIVE: Predisposing factors influencing recurrences of bacterial vaginosis (BV) or vaginitis from Candida remain unidentified for most women. As a component of studies to determine host susceptibility factors to genital tract infections in women, we measured expression of the 60-kDa and 70-kDa heat shock proteins (hsp60 and hsp70, respectively) in the circulation of women with or without a history of recurrent BV or candidal vaginitis and with or without a current lower genital tract infection. Heat shock protein expression is associated with a down-regulation of pro-inflammatory immune responses that would inhibit microbial infection. METHOD: The investigators measured hsp60 and hsp70, antibodies to these proteins, the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) in sera by ELISA. The study population consisted of 100 women who attended a gynecology clinic in Campinas, Brazil. Of those, 55 had a history of recurrent vulvovaginitis (RV), while 45 were controls with no such history. Only women who were asymptomatic for at least 1 month were studied. RESULTS: Although all were asymptomatic, clinical and microbiological examination revealed that five of the women with a history of RV and two controls had a current candidal vaginal infection; 16 RV patients and 12 controls had BV; and six RV patients had both BV and candidiasis. Twenty-eight RV patients and 31 controls had no clinical or microbiological detectable vaginal infection. Among the RV patients, hsp60 and hsp70 were more prevalent in those with current BV (40.9% and 50.0%, respectively) or a candidal infection (45.5% and 54.5%) than in women with no current infection (21.4% and 17.9%). In the women with no history of RV, BV was not associated with a high prevalence of hsp60 (8.3%) or hsp70 (8.3%). Interleukin-10 and TNF were not more prevalent in vaginitis patients or controls with a current candidal infection or BV than in uninfected subjects. CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of circulating hsp60 and hsp70 in women with a history of RV and current BV or vaginal candidiasis, but not in women with no history of RV, suggests that differences in heat shock protein induction may be related to susceptibility to recurrent vaginal infections. (+info)
In vitro and in vivo anticandidal activity of human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitors.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy that includes human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) aspartyl protease inhibitors (PIs) causes a decline in the incidence of some opportunistic infections in AIDS, and this decline is currently attributed to the restoration of specific immunity. The effect of two PIs (indinavir and ritonavir) on the enzymatic activity of a secretory aspartyl protease (Sap) of Candida albicans (a major agent of mucosal disease in HIV-infected subjects) and on growth and experimental pathogenicity of this fungus was evaluated. Both PIs strongly (>/=90%) and dose dependently (0.1-10 microM) inhibited Sap activity and production. They also significantly reduced Candida growth in a nitrogen-limited, Sap expression-dependent growth medium and exerted a therapeutic effect in an experimental model of vaginal candidiasis, with an efficacy comparable to that of fluconazole. Thus, besides the expected immunorestoration, patients receiving PI therapy may benefit from a direct anticandidal activity of these drugs. (+info)
An adhesin of the yeast pathogen Candida glabrata mediating adherence to human epithelial cells.
Candida glabrata is an important fungal pathogen of humans that is responsible for about 15 percent of mucosal and systemic candidiasis. Candida glabrata adhered avidly to human epithelial cells in culture. By means of a genetic approach and a strategy allowing parallel screening of mutants, it was possible to clone a lectin from a Candida species. Deletion of this adhesin reduced adherence of C. glabrata to human epithelial cells by 95 percent. The adhesin, encoded by the EPA1 gene, is likely a glucan-cross-linked cell-wall protein and binds to host-cell carbohydrate, specifically recognizing asialo-lactosyl-containing carbohydrates. (+info)
Differential susceptibility of two species of macaques to experimental vaginal candidiasis.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) caused by Candida albicans is a significant problem in women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, protective host defense mechanisms against VVC are poorly understood. Although rodent models of experimental vaginal candidiasis have been useful, several differences from humans limit the correlation of experimental data. The purpose of the present study was to examine two species of macaques as an alternative model of experimental vaginitis. Screening of pig-tailed and rhesus macaques demonstrated that each had mucosal Candida colonization and prior immune sensitization to C. albicans. Vaginal-associated immunity (cytokines, antibodies, and innate resistance) was also detected in cervicovaginal lavage fluid from both species. Nevertheless, intravaginal inoculation of C. albicans into both species, either untreated or under estrogen-treated conditions, resulted in vaginal infection in rhesus, but not pig-tailed, macaques. Several estrogen-dependent changes in the rhesus immune status coincided with susceptibility to infection. Taken together, these results suggest that pig-tailed and rhesus macaques may be useful in studying pathogenesis and immunity associated with C. albicans vaginitis. (+info)
Evolution of vaginal Candida species recovered from human immunodeficiency virus-infected women receiving fluconazole prophylaxis: the emergence of Candida glabrata? Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research in AIDS (CPCRA).
The effect of fluconazole prophylaxis on the vaginal flora of 323 human immunodeficiency virus-infected women was evaluated in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Women with CD4 cell counts of < or = 300/mm3 received either 200 mg of fluconazole per week or placebo. Vaginal surveillance cultures were performed every 3 months. After a follow-up of 29 months, Candida albicans was recovered from 53% of patients receiving fluconazole and 68% of patients assigned placebo. Fluconazole was associated with a 50% reduction in the odds of being colonized with C. albicans but with higher rates for non-albicans Candida species. Candida glabrata was recovered from 40 women assigned fluconazole and 29 assigned placebo (relative odds, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.98-3.94). Fluconazole had an early and persistent effect on the vaginal mycoflora, with the emergence of C. glabrata vaginal colonization within the first 6 months. The effect of fluconazole prophylaxis can be attributed to the reduction in vaginal C. albicans colonization; however, C. glabrata colonization rapidly supervened. (+info)