Abstract: Candidiasis is an opportunistic fungal infection that has been rising in incidence due to the increasing number of immunocompromised patients. Various species of Candida are able to cause vaginal infections in women, but Candida albicans is the most common cause of vaginal candidiasis. Identification of Candida albicans still rely mostly on microbiological culture and biochemical tests that are time-consuming and requires trained mycologists. This study reports the rapid identification and detection of Candida albicans directly from high vaginal swabs without prior culture, using nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). A pair each of external primers and internal primers that are complementary to the IPC1 gene were designed. The specificity of the primers were tested against 4 non-albicans ATCC strains of Candida and also against 2 strains of baker`s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Seventy one High Vaginal Swabs (HVS) samples were collected in which one portion was cultured and subjected to the germ tube test while the other portion was subjected to direct DNA extraction and nested PCR. Out of 30 culture-positive samples, 19 were detected as C. albicans via the germ tube test (specificity=81.8%, sensitivity=89.5%, p<0.05) whereas nested PCR detected 21 (specificity=72.7%, sensitivity=94.7%, p<0.05). Among the 41 culture-negative samples, nested PCR detected 26. This study has produced a sensitive method that can detect C. albicans from vaginitis patients without the need for culturing.
Soo Fen Wong , Boon Chong Tan , Siti Rohani bt Abdul Hadi , Kee Peng Ng and Pei Pei Chong , 2006. Rapid Diagnosis of Candida albicans Vaginitis Directly from High Vaginal Swabs . International Journal of Molecular Medicine and Advance Sciences, 2: 239-244.