Detection of Candida species by PCR in self-collected vaginal swabs of women after taking antibiotics

Mycoses. 2006 Nov;49(6):523-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2006.01312.x.


Women undergoing antibiotic treatment can develop vulvovaginal candidiasis. This study evaluated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Candida species in comparison with the conventional laboratory culture methods in samples from women with and without symptoms of postantibiotic candidiasis. The self-collected vaginal swabs from 90 women, with no recent symptoms of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), who were prescribed antibiotics for non-genital infection were evaluated 8 days after completion of antibiotics and/or at the time of developing symptoms of VVC. Broad-spectrum fungal PCR was performed on extracted DNA from each sample. Overall PCR detected four additional Canidida albicans, three Candida parapsilosis and one Candida tropicalis when compared with culture. All but one case additionally detected by PCR were found in patients with no VVC symptoms. PCR, although more sensitive than conventional culture methods, in this small number of cases, has not been able to detect Candida species in significantly more patients with symptoms suggestive of candidiasis. The results of this study may indicate that other agents including other yeast species may be responsible for symptoms of postantibiotic vulvovaginitis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Candida / isolation & purification*
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / microbiology*
  • DNA, Fungal / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Self Care
  • Vagina / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA, Fungal