Although a number of fungal species belonging to the genus Candida can cause acute vulvovaginal infection (VVC), Candida albicans is by far the most prevalent etiological agent, particularly for the most severe chronic condition known as recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). This review focuses on recent advances in pathogenic mechanisms and host immune responses to C. albicans and on the utilisation of this information in the development of a vaccine to prevent and/or treat vaginal candidiasis. Currently, two vaccines with main or sole RVVC as clinical indication have completed a phase 1 clinical trial, and one of them has entered a phase 2 trial.
Keywords: Candida albicans; immunity; pathogenesis; vaccines; vulvovaginal candidiasis.
© 2014 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.