Microb Drug Resist. 2021 Feb 26. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2020.0139. Online ahead of print.
Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is caused by Candida spp., a vaginal colonizer. Despite the clinical importance of RVVC, little is known regarding the characteristics of the disease in Portugal. Thirty-six clinical cases were analyzed, comprising 93 yeast vulvovaginal isolates obtained from women attending a gynecologic consultation at a private clinic. Of these, 18 women were diagnosed with RVVC, while other 18 women had a sporadic episode of infection (nonrecurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis [NR-VVC]). Species identification was performed with CHROMagar chromogenic medium and by analysis of biochemical profiles. In addition, antifungal susceptibility testing for two azole compounds was performed by broth microdilution. We found that Candida albicans was isolated from both NR-VVC and RVVC cases, being highly predominant; C. glabrata and C. tropicalis were also isolated. Resistance to at least one antifungal was detected in up to 65% of the isolates, and resistance to both antifungals reached a frequency of 25%. Moreover, azole-resistant isolates were distributed among all species identified. We conclude that in the studied group of patients, C. albicans is in fact the major player both in NR-VVC and in RVVC, C. glabrata being more frequently associated with recurrence (p < 0.05). In addition, we found a high proportion of azole-resistant strains.