Incidence and Speciation of Candida Species among Non-gravid young Females in Ilorin, North Central, Nigeria
This study investigated the incidence and speciation of Candida species among non-gravid young females, using commercially available chromogenic Candida speciation media (CHROM agar) for the identification/speciation of medically important yeast and yeastlike organisms in a routine clinical mycology laboratory. High Vaginal Swabs (HVS) were randomly collected from consenting non-gravid-young females for the study. The participants also completed a structured questionnaire assessing demographic data, symptoms, and risk factors of candidiasis. A total of 120 females between the ages of 17 and 31 years were randomly recruited for the study. Standard microbiological techniques such as Gram’s stain, wet mount and culture on Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) and CHROM agar were used to analyze the swabs. Candida species was isolated from 64 of the 120 females, representing 53.3%. The highest incidence rate of 25.0% was recorded in the 23-25 years age group, followed by 12.5% in the 26 28 years while the lowest incidence (1.7%) was observed in the 17-19 years age group. Candida albicans (35.0%) was the most common Candida species, followed by C. tropicalis (8.3%), C. glabrata (6.7%) and C. krusie (3.3%), whereas, non-Candida infection constituted 46.7% (Negative cultures). Vaginal discharge (85.5%) and itching (52.5%) recorded the high values, with respect to symptoms. The prevalent risk factors associated with vaginal candidiasis in this study were washing of vagina with soap (Vaginal douching) (72.5%) and unprotected casual sex (16.7%). Whitish vaginal discharge (78.3%) was most prevalent followed by creamish vagina discharge (56.7%). In addition to Candida albicans, non-albicans Candida spp were isolated from HVS specimens; therefore, public health education is vital. CHROM agar is a simple, rapid and inexpensive method with good sensitivity and specificity for identification and speciation of Candida species thus, allowing an early and appropriate antifungal therapy. The results of the study will eliminate the ambiguities concerning Candida identification in this country and will contribute to better management and proper treatment of patients.
Keywords: Candidiasis, vulvovaginitis, Incidence, Speciation, CHROM agar, Risk Factors