Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: A Current Understanding and Burning Questions

J Fungi (Basel). 2020 Feb 25;6(1):27. doi: 10.3390/jof6010027.


Candida albicans, along with other closely related Candida species, are the primary causative agents of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC)-a multifactorial infectious disease of the lower female reproductive tract resulting in pathologic inflammation. Unlike other forms of candidiasis, VVC is a disease of immunocompetent and otherwise healthy women, most predominant during their child-bearing years. While VVC is non-lethal, its high global incidence and profound negative impact on quality-of-life necessitates further understanding of the host and fungal factors that drive disease pathogenesis. In this review, we cover the current state of our understanding of the epidemiology, host response, fungal pathogenicity mechanisms, impact of the microbiome, and novel approaches to treatment of this most prevalent human candidal infection. We also offer insight into the latest advancements in the VVC field and identify important questions that still remain.

Keywords: Candida; VVC; candidiasis; fungal; vagina; vaginitis; vulvovaginal.

Publication types

  • Review