Immunological Investigations in Vaginal Mycoses

Mycoses. May-Jun 1996;39(5-6):177-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.1996.tb00122.x.


In 42 women with chronically recurrent and 20 women with acute Candida albicans vulvovaginitis, as well as 14 women with Candida glabrata vaginitis, the following investigations were carried out: determination of protein content and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in the cervicovaginal secretion by a self-modified ELISA technique; determination of immunocells and cellbound IgA in the cervicovaginal secretion by immunofluorescence and nephelometric analysis of IgA in the serum. The results were compared with those of 77 pre-menopausal non-pregnant women with or without intake of anti-ovulants, 17 healthy pregnant women and four hysterectomised pre-menopausal women. Due to inflammation, women with acute and chronically recurrent Candida albicans vulvovaginitis had a higher protein content in the cervicovaginal secretion than healthy women. However, the content of secretory IgA was not increased but even slightly decreased in chronic cases. The number of macrophages and granulocytes in the vaginal content was not increased compared with healthy patients. In only a few cases was IgA detected on yeast cells and in the cervicovaginal secretion by fluorescence microscopy. In chronically-relapsing vaginal candidosis, the frequency of the serotype B of C. albicans was strikingly high. Women with Candida glabrata vaginitis showed lower values of secretory sIgA in the vaginal secretion compared with healthy patients as well as women with vaginitis caused by C. albicans. However, like healthy women, they had normal protein values in the cervicovaginal secretion and also lower values of IgA in the serum compared with women of C. albicans vulvovaginitis patients. Macrophages and granulocytes were demonstrable in the cervicovaginal secretion just as in healthy persons. Women with C. glabrata vaginitis showed a more conspicuous, although not a significantly more frequent, binding of IgA to budding cells demonstrated by fluorescence microscopy than women with C. albicans.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood
  • Candida / classification
  • Candida / isolation & purification
  • Candida albicans / classification
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood*
  • Premenopause
  • Recurrence
  • Reference Values
  • Serotyping


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Immunoglobulin A