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<i>Albicans candidiasis</i> amongs women and infants at two health facilities in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

G N Wokem
C B Ndukwu


The status of a much-neglected serious mycotic disease common in females – vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and in infants – Oral Thrush (OT) was investigated in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The study- population was drawn from University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) and Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH). Four hundred and twenty (420) respondents aged ≥ 1- 60 years were examined. High vaginal swabs were collected from adult females while oral swabs were collected from the infants. Standard micro-biological techniques used included wet mount, culture, Grams staining and Fermentation. Out of the 420 examined, 158 (37.6%) were infected. UPTH (28.6%) had more infection rate than BMSH (22.9%), pregnant women (54%) were significantly (p<0.05) more infected with VVC than non-pregnant women (18.6%). Age-groups observed were 21-30 years (50%), 31-40 years (45%), 41-50 years (25%), 11-20 years (20%) and 51-60 years (5%). Occupation-related relevance showed traders and others as the highest (41.7%) risk bearers although statistically not significant (p>0.05). The married females (36.7%) had a higher prevalence than the unmarried (23.4%). Chi-square test showed that VVC is marital status and pregnancy-dependent (p<0.05). For oral thrush, the female infants (8.9%) had a higher infection rate than the male infants (4.4%) but statistically not significant (p>0.05). Candida albicans is oligoacidic with optimal pH tolerance at pH 4.5. To reduce the public health and socio-economic burden of candidiasis, mass education is strongly advocated, especially for antenatal attendees.

Keywords: vulvovaginal candidiasis, oral thrush, women-infants, neglected mycosis, Niger Delta.