Symptomatic candidiasis: Using self sampled vaginal smears to establish the presence of Candida, lactobacilli, and Gardnerella vaginalis.Diagn Cytopathol. 2007 Oct; 35(10):635-9.DC
In a prospective cohort study, 10 symptomatic women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis were taught how to prepare vaginal smears of their own vaginal fluids on days 7, 14, 21, and 28. The 40 smears were stained with the PAS-method and examined by three different cytopathologists for presence of Candida. Thereafter, the smears were restained with Giemsa-stain to determine presence of lactobacilli, Gardnerella vaginalis ("clue cells") and neutrophils. All three cytopathologists unequivocally established Candida blastospores and (pseudo)hyphae in 27 out of the 40 PAS-stained vaginal smears, whereas in the remaining 13 smears Candida was not found. All 10 patients had Candida in their smears during the second half of their menstrual cycle.Self sampled smears prove to be reliable for establishing the presence of Candida in symptomatic patients with candidiasis. Candida is associated with a lactobacillus-predominated vaginal flora, but with the absence of Gardnerella vaginalis. Further studies may be directed towards the interaction between the various members of the vaginal flora. This study should open molecular methodology for determining the possible interactions of lactobacilli and Candida.