PURPOSE: To investigate the etiology and the epidemiological profile of patients with vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and predisposing factors. METHODS: Vaginal secretions were streaked in Sabouraud agar and yeast samples were isolated and identified by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Demographic and clinical data were obtained with a questionnaire. For statistical analysis, the Student's t-test, the χ² and Fischer tests were applied as needed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software, with the level of significance set at 5%. RESULTS: Sixty-nine patients aged from 15 to 52 years were evaluated. They were predominantly white (79.7%), with higher education (58%), married (56.5%) and sexually active (97.1%). Among them, 34.8% were pregnant, 7.2% diabetic, 1.4% seropositive for AIDS, and 36.2% were using oral contraceptives. Recent antibiotic therapy was mentioned by 13% of the patients, and antifungal or anti-trichomonas therapy was mentioned by 5.8 and 1.4% of the patients, respectively. Corticosteroid use was reported by 2.9% and antineoplastic by 1.4%. Vaginal discharge and itching were the main complaints (97.1 and 73.9%), followed by burning (63.8%) and erythema (63.8%). When present, the vaginal flow was predominantly white (88.1%) or lumpy (86.6%). The diagnosis was confirmed by culture in 55 (79.7%) patients, with mixed infections in 4 patients. The most prevalent species was C. albicans, followed by C. glabrata (one monoinfection and two mixed infections with C. albicans). C. lusitaniae and C. albicans were also identified in mixed infections (two patients). CONCLUSION: Despite the high culture positivity and clinical data characteristic of VVC, the symptoms were not pathognomonic. C. albicans is the most prevalent species, but other species are also involved in VVC etiology, such as the emergence of C. lusitaniae.
Candidiasis, vulvovagina; Candida; Clinical diagnosis